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LETTERS 



EOYAL AND ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES 



OP 



GREAT BRITAIN, 



FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY 
TO THE CLOSE OF THE REIGN OF QUEEN MARY. 

CHIEFLY FROM THE ORIGINALS IN THE STATE PAPER OFFICE, 

THE TOWER OF LONDON, THE BRITISH MUSEUM, 

AND OTHER STATS ARCHIVES, 

BT 

MARY ANNE EVERETT WOOD.: .t.. . 



ILLUSTRATED WITH PAC-SIMILE AUTOGRAPHS, 
IN THREE VOLUMES. 

VOL. I. 

LONDON: 

HENBT COLBUBH, GBEAT MABLBOROUGH STREET. 
1816. 



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iKfS.H- 



Harvard College Library 

Bowie Collection 

Gift of 

Mrs. E. D. Brandegee 

Novi 9, 1908. 



LONDONt 

PRINTED BT GEORGE BARCLAY, CASTLE 8TREBT| 
LEICESTER SQUARE. 



A 






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TO 



SIB THOMAS PHILLIPS, BART. 

OF lODDLEHILL, WOBGESTEBSHIBE, 
THIS WORK, 

OKIGINALLT UNDERTAKEN AT HI8 SUGGESTION, 

B l&cjspcctfttllQ 19itiicat(ti» 

m AGKNOITLEDGMENT OF LITERARY OBLIGATIONS RECEIVED 
DURING A VISIT AT MIDDLEHILL, 

BY HIS OBLIGED AND GBATEFUL 

MART AME EVEREn WOOD 



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PREFACE. 



It is a trite saying, that a woman is to be 
judged by her letters. If this adage be true, 
the present volumes, unfolding a series of these 
records, extending over a period of four cen- 
turies and a-half, will not be deemed an un- 
welcome addition to an interesting class of 
literature. 

The selection of the letters contained in 
the present volumes has been attended with 
some difficulty, owing to the comparative 
paucity of examples previously to the com- 
mencement of the l6th centurv, and their 
multiplicity subsequently to that period. Of 
those which have been inserted, a few of the 

b 



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VI PREFACE. 

earlier ones, perhaps, may be considered to 
possess scarcely sufficient interest to entitle 
them to a place in these pages ; but, in form- 
ing a continuous series of female epistolary 
correspondence, their insertion seemed neces- 
sary. 

In the introductory remarks which have 
been prefixed to the letters, the Editor has 
endeavoured to render the subject more intel- 
ligible to the reader. They are seldom ex- 
tended beyond a brief notice, except where the 
information has been drawn from documents 
hitherto inedited. 

No liberty whatever has been taken with 
any of the letters, except in translating those 
in foreign languages into English, and modern- 
ising the ancient orthography. Had this not 
been done, many highly interesting letters in 
Latin, Italian, Spanish, Norman French, 
Scotch, and antiquated English, would have 
remained incomprehensible to the general 
reader. But it should be observed that the 
original phraseology has in every instance been 
retained, and the strictest attention paid to 
fidelity in the transcripts and to correctness in 
the translations. Not a word has been pur- 



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\ 



PREFACE. Vll 

posely omitted, inserted, or altered, and, where 
a supplemental word was necessary to make up 
the sense, it has been placed within a paren- 
thesis. In those instances where the originals 
had sustained injury from fire, damp, or other 
casualty, the words supposed to have been 
efiaced have occasionally been conjecturally 
supplied within brackets. A chronological 
arrangement of the letters has been observed, 
as far as practicable, and considerable pains 
have been taken with dates, some of which 
have been frequently supplied from various 
minute points of internal evidence in the 
letters, and from their bearing upon other 
documents which it would have been tedious 
always to detail. Whenever any uncertainty 
existed, the letters have been assigned to the 
most probable date and vers, prefixed to the 
year. 

The sources from which the letters have 
been obtained are various. The earliest origi- 
nals are from the valuable collection in the 
Tower of London, and from the OflSce of the 
Duchy of Lancaster ; those of a later period 
from the State Paper Office, the British 
Museum, the College of Arms, the Rolls- 



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VIU PREFACE. 

House, the Chapter-House, the Bodleian and 
Ashmolean Libraries, Oxford, the Bibliotheque 
du Roi at Paris, and Archives du Royaume, 
Paris, and also from several private collections. 
Comparatively few of the letters have been 
before published, and those which have been 
printed have appeared only in works which are 
scarce, or beyond ordinary reach. In difew 
instances, letters are given from printed books, 
but only in those cases where the original 
authorities are wanting ; such are the first six 
letters of the collection, which are of a period 
earlier than any original letters known to be 
in existence ; also, a few translations from the 
Italian of Pollini and Leti, and reprints of 
a few English letters from the Howard Collec- 
tion — a volume scarce and little known. In 
these instances the superior interest of the 
letters induced a departure from the general 
rule. 

The work was originally intended to have 
been brought down to the time of the Com- 
monwealth, or at least to the close of the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth, and an extensive collection 
was made for the purpose ; but it was found im- 
practicable to include a more lengthened period. 



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PREFACE. IX 

without omitting much of an earlier date that 
seemed equally worthy of insertion, and, from 
its superior antiquity, possessed even a higher 
claim to interest. The publication of later letters 
has, therefore, been deferred, at least for the 
present. 

The Editor has now the pleasing task of 
acknowledging her obligations to those dis- 
tinguished and literary gentlemen who have 
honoured her with their assistance. To His 
Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury she is 
indebted for permission of access to the Lam- 
beth Library, and to the Rev. S. R. M ait- 
land, keeper of the MSS., for the friendly 
manner in which that permission has been 
rendered available ; to the Right Honourable 
the Earl of Aberdeen and Viscount Canning 
for their courteous, though hitherto unsuccess- 
ful, eflfbrts to obtain from the Spanish Govern- 
ment transcripts of the letters of Queen 
Catherine of Aragon, deposited in the Ar- 
chives of Simancas ; and to Sir James Graham, 
Home-Secretary of State, for admission to the 
invaluable treasures of the State Paper Office. 
To Sir Francis Palgrave, Deputy Keeper of the 
Public Records, T. DuflFus Hardy, Esq., of the 



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X PREFACE. 

Tower (to whom she is under peculiar and 
extensive literary obligations), W. H. Black, 
Esq., of the Rolls-House, and Frederick 
Devon, Esq., of the Chapter-House, she begs 
to present her acknowledgments for polite at- 
tentions received in consulting the documents 
under their several charges. To William 
Hardy, Esq., of the Office of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, she is indebted for liberal access to 
the Archives of that office ; also to Sir Charles 
G. Young, garter king-at-arnis, for similar 
access to the MSS. of the Heralds' College, 
and for much valuable aid in solving genea- 
logical difficulties. To the Rev. Dr. Ban- 
dinel, Keeper of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, 
her best thanks are due for his permission to 
consult the MSS. under his care ; and to the 
Rev. Henry Coxe and Alfred Hackman, Esq., 
Assistant - Librarians, for facilities afforded 
her in so doing. To Dawson Turner, Esq. 
F.A.S., to the late William Upcott, Esq., 
and Robert Lemon, Esq., Deputy-Keeper of 
the State Papers, she is obliged for their 
kind permission to print letters from their 
private collections ; also to the last-named 
gentleman for much friendly assistance re- 






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PREFACE. XI 

ceived when studying in the State Paper 
Office. Nor are her ohligations confined to 
her own countrymen. To Canon Miguel del 
Riego, the enthusiastic reviver of the ancient 
poetry of Spain, she is indebted for his super- 
vision of her translations of several of the 
Spanish letters of Catherine of Aragon. To 
M. Paulin Paris, principal Librarian, and 
M. Auguste Vallet de Viriville, one of the 
Sub-Librarians of the Biblioth^que du Roi, 
Paris, for their polite attentions during her 
researches there; and also to M. Alexandre 
Teulet, for similar attentions at the Archives 
du Royaume, H6tel Soubise. 

In conclusion, the Editor would beg to 
offer an apology for the seeming, perhaps real, 
presumption with which she has ventured 
upon a field usually occupied only by the 
learned of the other sex. Inspired by an 
ardent love for antiquarian literature, and 
encouraged by the wishes of her friends, she 
has undertaken her present task, not from any 
unwarranted conceit of superior talent, but 
simply because she felt convinced that it was 
one in which the energy and industry which 
any one who has time at command may bring 



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Xll PREFACE. 

to bear upon a given subject were tbe greatest 
essentials to success. Of the truth or fallacy 
of her opinion the public must now be the 
judges. 



Shrubbeby House, 

cottingham, neae hull, 

Nov, 20th, 1845. 



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1, 

i 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



No. A.D. Page 

I. Matilda of Scotland, qneen of Henry I., to An- 

selm archbishop of Canterbury . . vers, 1103. . 1 
II. The same to pope Paschal II. . . vers, 1103. . 4 

III. Adela conntess of Blois, youngest daughter of 
William the Conqueror, to Theobald earl of 
Blois, her son 1130.. 7 

lY. The empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I., to 

Thomas a Becket archbishop of Canterbury 1165. . 9 

v. Mary, daughter of king Stephen, countess of 

Bologne, to Louis VII. king of France . 1 168. . 1 1 

VI. Eleanora queen of England, widow of Henry II., 

to pope Celestine 1192.. 13 

VII. Eleanora of Bretagne, grand-daughter of Henry 
II. and sister to prince Arthur, to her sub- 
jects in Bretagne 1208.. 24 

YIII. Isabella queen-dowager of England, countess of 

March and Angouleme, to her son, Henry III. 1220. . 28 

IX. Queen Berengaria, widow of Richard Coeur de 

Lion, to Peter bishop of Winchester . . 1220. . 30 

X. The same to Henry III 1225. . 33 

XI. The Nuns of St. Mary's of Chester to Eleanora, 

queen of Henry III 1253. . 34 

XII. Eleanora queen-regent of England, and Richard 

earl of Cornwall, to Henry III. . . . 1254. . 36 

XIII. Matilda prioress of the convent of Barking to 

Henry in 1258. . 39 

XIV. Lady Havisia de Neville to her son, Hugh de 

NeviUe vers. 1258. . 42 

XV. Eleanora queen of Edward I., to Robert Bumell, 

lord chancellor 46 

XVI. Constance widow of Henry of Grermany, the 

nephew of Henry III., to Edward I. . vers, 1279. . 47 



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XIV CONTENTS. 

Ko, A.D. Page 

XVII. Eleanora queen-dowager of Engltnd to her 

■on, Edward I vers, 1279. . 50 

XVIII. Eleanora princess of Wales to her cousm, 

king Edward I vers, 1279. . 51 

XIX. The same to the same .... 1280. . 55 

XX. Eleanora qneen-dowager of England to her 

son, Edward 1 58 

XXI. The same to the same .... 59 

XXII. Mary daughter of Edward I., a nun at Ames- 
bury, to her brother, Edward II. . vers, 1316. . 60 

XXIII. Isabella queen-dowager of England to her 

nephew, the earl of Hereford . vers. 1328. . 63 

XXrV. Philippa of Hamault, queen of Edward III., 

to sir John de Edington, her attorney . 1354. . 65 

XXV. Constance, wife of John of Gaunt duke of 

Lancaster, to the chancellor of England . 66 

XXVI. Annabella queen ofScotland to king Richard II. 1394. .67 

XXVII. Joanna of Navarre, afterwards queen of Henry 

IV., to Richard II vers, 1399. . 70 

XXVIII. Joanna duchess of Bretagne, afterwards queen 
of England, to her future husband Henry 
IV 1400.. 72 

XXIX. The Prioress of Rowney to king Henry IV. 1400. . 73 

XXX. Christine Dunbar countess of March to Henry 

IV 1403.. 75 

XXXI. Philippa queen of Portugal to her brother, 

Henry IV 1405.. 78 

XXXII. Joanna countess of Westmoreland to her 

brother, Henry IV 1406. . 82 

XXXIII. Catherine daughter of John of Gaunt, queen 

of Castile and Leon, to her brother 

Henry IV 1412.. 85 

XXXIV. Joanna de Kynnesley to king Henry IV. . 88 

XXXV. Queen Joanna, widow of Henry IV., to her 

son, John duke of Bedford . . . 1415.. 89 

XXXVI. Constance lady Husee to king Henry VI. . 1441. . 92 

XXXVII. Elizabeth countess of Oxford to. sir John 

Paston 94 

XXXVIII. Margaret of Anjou, queen of Henry VI., to 

the citizens of London .... 1461. . 95 

XXXIX. Anne countess of Warwick to the House of 

Commons 1471.100 



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CONTENTS. XV 

No. A.D. Pate 
XL. Cecilia duchess of York, mother of king 

Edward lY., to the mayor of Windsor 105 

XLI. The same to dean William Wolflete . . 106 

XLII. Joanna Conway to Cecilia duchess of York . 107 

XLIIL Elizabeth sister of king Edward IV. to John 

Paston 109 

XLIV. Elizabeth Woodville, queen of Edward IV., to 

sir William Stoner 110 

XLV. Margaret countess of Oxford to John Paston 1486. . 112 

XLVI. Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry VII., to 

queen Isabella of CastUe . . 1497.. 114 

XLVII. Margaret Beaufort countess of Richmond, 
mother of king Henry VII., to Richard 
Shirley 9«r«. 1501. . 116 

XLVIII. The same to her son, Henry VII. 1501. . 118 

XLIX. Catherine of Aragon, as princess of Wales, to 

her father Ferdinand II 1505.. 120 

L. The same to the same .... 1505.. 128 

LI. The same to the same .... ver«. 1505. . 129 

LII. The same to the same .... 1505 : 130 

LIII. The same to the same 1506. . 135 

LIV. The same to the queen of Castile . 1506. . 141 

LV. The same to her father Ferdinand II. . . 1506. . 142 

LVI. The same to the same .... 1507.. 143 

LVn. The same to the same ■ . . . . 1507.. 148 

LVIII. Catherine oi Aragon, queen of Henry VIII., 

to her fistther Ferdinand II. . 1509. . 157 

LIX. The same to the same 162 

LX. The same to Mr. Almoner Wokey . . 1513. . 163 

LXI. Margaret queen of Scotland to her brother, 

kmg Henry VIII 1514.. 165 

LXII. Mary, daughter of Henry VIII., to her future 

husband, Louis XII. of France 1514. . 169 

LXIII. The same to the same 1514. . 172 

LXIV. Mary queen of France to her brother, 

Henry VllI 1514.. 173 

LXV. The same to the same 1514.. 176 

LXVl. The same to Nicholas de Cerisay . . 1514. . 177 

LXVII. The same to archbishop Wokey . 1514. . 180 

LXVIII. The same to her brother, king Henry VIII. 1514. . 181 



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XVI 



CONTENTS. 



No. A.D. Page 

LXIX. Mary queen of France to her brother, kmg 

Henry VIII 1514.. 182 

LXX. Mary queen-dowager of France to her bro- 
ther, Henry VIII 1515. . 183 

LXXI. The same to the same .... 1515. . 187 

LXXII. The same to the sataie .... 1515. . 189 

LXXIII. The same to archbishop Wolsey . . 1515. . 193 

LXXIV. The same to the same .... 1515. . 195 

LXXV. The same to her brother, kmg Henry VIII. 1515. . 199 

LXXVI. The same to Wolsey . . . . 1515. . 202 

LXXVII. The same to her brother, king Henry VIII. 1515. . 203 

LXXVIII. Queen Catherine of Aragon to the sub- 
prior of Anglesea 1515. . 207 

LXXIX. Margaret queen of Scotland to Henry VIII. 1515. . 208 

LXXX. The same to Adam Williamson . . 1515. . 210 

LXXXI. The same to Henry VIII. . . . 1515.. 211 

LXXXII. The same to lord Dacres . . . 1515. . 214 

LXXXIII. The same to the duke of Albany . . 1515. . 216 

LXXXIV. The same to cardinal Wolsey . . 1516. . 219 

LXXXV. The same to the same . . . . 1517. . 221 

LXXXVI. The same to Henry VIII. . . . 1517. . 222 

LXXXVII. The same to cardinal Wolsey . . . 1517.. 226 

LXXXVIII. The same to Henry VIII. . . . 1518. . 227 

LXXXIX. The same to queen Catherine of Aragon, vers. 1519. . 231 

XC. The same to lord Dacres .... 1519. . 232 

XCI. The same to the same .... 1520. . 236 

XCII. Catherine of Aragon, queen of Henry VIII. 
to Claude of France, queen of Francis I. 

vers, 

XCIII. Mary queen-dowager of France to cardinal 

Wolsey 

XCIV. The same to the same .... 
XCV. The same to the same .... 
XCVI. Queen Margaret to lord Dacres . 
XCVII. The same to cardinal Wolsey . 
XCVIII. The same to the earl of Surrey 
XCIX. The same to the same .... 

C. Queen Catherine of Aragon to cardinal 

WoUey 260 



1521.. 238 



240 

242 

244 

.245 

.252 

256 

.258 



1522. 
1522. 

1523. 



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CONTENTS* 



XVll 



No. A.D. 

CI. Elizabeth countess of Kildare to cardinal 
Wolsey 

CII. Queen Margaret to the earl of Surrey 
CTIl. The same to king Henry VIII. . 
CIV. The same to the earl of Surrey 
CV. The same to the same 
CVI. The same to the same . 
CVII. The same to the same 
CVIII. The same to the same . 
CIX. The same to the duke of Albany . 
ex. The same to the earl of Surrey 
CXI. The same to the duke of Albany . 
CXII. The same to the earl of Surrey 



Page 



CXII I. Margaret countess of Salisbury to the 
and council .... 



king 



CXIV. The same to lady Rede 

CXV. Anne lady Rede to Mr. Henry Golde 

CXVI. Mary Zouch to sir John Arundel . 

CXVII. Margaret queen of Scotland to lord Dacres . 

CXVIII. The same to. the same .... 
CXIX. The same to king Henry VIII. . 

CXX. Anne countess of Oxford to cardinal Wolsey 



1523. 


261 


1523. 


264 


1523. 


.270 


1523. 


.275 


1523. 


.277 


1523. 


.280 


1523. 


.282 


1523. 


.288 


1523. 


.291 


1523. 


.293 


1523. 


.296 


1523. 


.298 




306 




309 




310 




312 


1524. 


.314 


1524. 


.319 


1524. 


.322 



.329 



vers, 1524. 

CXXI. The same to the same . . . vers, 1524. . 332 

CXXII. The same to the same . . vers, 1524. . 334 

CXXI II. Elizabeth duchess of Norfolk to cardinal 

Wolsey vers, 1524. 

CXXIV. Margaret queen of Scotland to the duke of 



.336 



Norfolk 
CXXV. The same to the same . 
CXXVI. The same to the same . 
CXXVII. The same to the same 
CXXVIII. The same to king Henry VIII. 
CXXIX. The same to cardinal Wolsey 
CXXX. The same to the Scottish lords 
CXXXI. The same to Henry VIII. . 
CXXXII. The same to Dr. Magnus 



1524. 
1524. 
1524. 
1524. 
1524. 
1524. 
1525. 
1525. 



338 
341 
345 
.349 
.352 
.356 
.361 
.363 



1525. . 368 



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FAC-SIMILES IN VOL. I. 



I 



No. 1. Beren^^aria of Navarre, queen of England.* 

,f 2. Philippa qneen of PortngaL 

Vostre entiere et loyal tuer P. de P. 

t, 3. Joanna countess of Westmoreland. 

Vaster ires humble et obaUant euget, ei voue 
plest, /. de W. 

f, 4. Catherine queen of Castile. 
Vo la reyna, 

„ 5. Joanna of Navarre, queen of England. 
Jehane, 

„ 6. Elizabeth Plantagenet, sister of Edward VI. TI^ 
Elizabeth. 

t, 7. Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England. 
Elysabeth. 



• The letter read in extetuo, that is, with the oontractions lengthened out, is 
as follows : — 

** Venerabili in Christo patri suo et amico pnecordialissimo P. del gratia 
Wintoniensis episcopo. & eadem gratia humllis quondam Angliee Regina 
salutem. DUectum nostrum latorem presentium fratrem Qauterum Ci8ter< 
ciensis ordinis ad vos mittimus, cum omni humilitate quA possumus, rogando 
humiliter ac devote ut, tam de hoc instanti festo omnium sanctorum quam de 
aliis terminis Jam transactis, nobis satisfleri faciatis de pecuniA nobis debitA pro 
compositione nostri dotalltii, quam, vobis mediante, fecimus cum J. bonn memo- 
rise Quondam rege Angliss fratre nostro. Yalete.'* 



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FAC-SIMILES. 

No. 8. Margaret countess of Oxford. 
Margaret Oxyrrf'ord, 

„ 9. Elizabeth of York, queen of England. 
Elysaheth R, 

ff 10. Margaret countess of Richmond. 
Margaret R. 

f, 11. Catherine of Aragon, as princess of Wales. 

Humyl servydora de tmestra alteza que tus 
manos besa la princesa de Galea, 

„ 12. Catherine of Aragon, as queen of England. 
La Regno* 

tj 13. Mary Tudor, queen of France. 

Bg gowr lowgng sttster Marg. 

yy 14. Margaret countess of Salisbury. 
Marget Salisberg, 



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LETTERS 



ROYAL AND ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 



LETTER I. 



Matilda of Scotland^ Queen of Henry /., to Anselm 
Archbishop of Canterbury, a.d. vers. 1103. 

[SANCTI ANSBLICI BPI8T0LS, LIBBK III. BPI8T. XCTI. LattH,'] 

\* The religioiis bent of character of Queen Matilda, wife of 
Henry I., has been too often and largely dwelt on to need mention 
here. This feeling prompted her to an earnest rererence for the 
Church and the clergy, and, in particular, to a warm attachment for 
Ardibishop Anselm, the primate of the realm. The disputes between 
this prelate and her royal husband were, to Matilda, cause of the most 
poignant regret. In these disputes, she decidedly took the part of 
the archbishop against the king. Still she seems to haye acted judi- 
ciously, and with a due regard to her obligations as a wife. Her cor- 
respondence with Anselm was carried on, for the most part, without 
the knowledge of Henry, while, at the same time, she was exerting her 
gentle and powerftil influence m soothing the bitterness of her lord 
and healing the breach. Fiye letters from the queen to Anselm, be- 
YOL. I. B 



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2 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

sides the one here giyen, are preserved amongst his correspondence. 
The first* was written before he left England, exhorting him to 
relax the long and rigorous fastings, by which she feared that his 
health would be seriously injured. She employed a learned scribe on 
this occasion, for her arguments are enforced by a quotation from 
Cicero, De Senectute, He answered her by an affectionate letter,^ in 
which he styles her ** glorious queen, reverend lady, and dearest 
daughter." The second letter <^ contained an urgent request from the 
queen for Eos immediate return. It was accompanied by one,<i cour- 
teous though cold, from Henry, promising to live with him on the 
same friendly terms as his fistther had done with Archbishop Lanfranc. 
In the third,* Matilda assures him, in the warmest terms, how greatly 
she values his letters ; but it is chiefly interesting from the fact, that 
in it she clearly cedes to him the right of ecclesiastical investiture, the 
principal point in dispute ^between him and her lord. • She tells him 
that, ** €»far as in her lay,''* she had bestowed the Abbey of Malms- 
bury on Eleulf, a monk of Winchester, but that she had left the elec- 
tion open to his approbation or reversal. Of the remaining two 
letters, the former' expresses her earnest longings for his return to 
England, and the latter,fl^ her consternation that, just as he was on the 
point of returning, he should have been detained by indisposition. 
She entreats him, if he has the slightest regard for her, to let her have 
immediate tidings concerning his health. 



To her piously remembered father and worthily 
reverenced lord, Anselm the archbishop, Matilda, 
by the gprace of God qaeen of England, the least of 
the handmaidens of his holiness, wishes perpetual 
health in Christ. 

I give unnumbered thanks to your unceasing 
goodness, which, not unmindful of me^ has conde- 
scended, by your letters presented to me, to shew 
forth your mind, though absent. The clouds of 

• Book iii. No. 55, «» Ibid. No. 57. « Ibid. No. 93. 

* Ibid. No. 94. • Ibid. No. 119. ' Book iv. No. 76. 

« Book iv. No. 78. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S 

sadness in which I was wrapped being expelled, the 
streamlet of your words has glided through me like 
a ray of new light. I embrace the little parchment 
sent to me by you, as I would my &ther himself: I 
cherish it in my bosom, I place it as near my heart 
as I can; I read over and over again the words 
flowing from the sweet fountain of your goodness ; 
my mind considers them, my heart broods over 
them ; and I hide the pondered treasures in the very 
secret place of my heart. Yet, while I praise all 
you have said, at one thing alone I wonder ; that is, 
at what your discreet excellency has said about your 
nephew. Yet I do not think I can deal otherwise 
with your friends than my own. I might say with 
mine than my own, for all who are yours by kindred 
are mine by love and adoption. Truly the conso- 
lation of your writing strengthens my patience, gives 
and preserves my hopes, raises me when falling, 
sustains me when sliding, gladdens me when sor- 
rowful, softens me when angry, pacifies me when 
weeping. Farther, frequent, though secret, consult- 
ation promises the return of the father to his daugh- 
ter, of the lord to his handmaiden, of the pastor to 
his flock. I am encouraged to hope the same thing 
from the confidence which I have in the prayers of 
good men, and from the good will which, by skil- 
fiiUy investigating, I find to be in the heart of my 
lord. His mind is better disposed towards you than 
many men think ; and, I favouring it, and suggest- 
ing wherever I can, he will become yet more 



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4 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

courteous and reconciled to you. As to what be 
permits now to be done, in reference to your return, 
he will permit more and better to be done in future, 
when, according to time and opportunity, you shall 
request it. But even though he should persist in 
being an unjust judge,* I entreat the affluence of your 
piety, that, excluding the bitterness of human ran- 
cour, which is not wont to dwell in you, you turn 
not from him the sweetness of your favour, but ever 
prove a pious intercessor with God for him and me, 
our common offspring, and the state of our kingdom. 
May your holiness ever fare well. 



LETTER II. 



Matilda of Scotland^ Queen of Henry J., to Pope 
. Paschal It. a.d. vers. 1103. 

[SANCn AN8BLMI BPI8T0LJB, LIBEB, III. BPI8T. XCIZ. Latin.'} 

\* This letter to the pope was writtea on oocasion of an appeal 
made (o him by King Henry and the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 
reference to the contested question of ecclesiastical supremacy, the 
long offering to reinstate Anselm m his temporal dignities, provided 
the pope would cede the point of ecclesiastical investitures. This 
must, therefore, have been the concession for which Matilda so ear- 
nestly supplicates as the means of restoring to her her beloved pastor. 
But Pope' Paschal was inexorable, and the issue of the contest was, 
tiiat Heiiry i^pas obliged to content himself by receiving the homage of 
the bishops for their temporal estates only. 

* '' Amplius quam sequum judioem ;" more than put seems to 
l^e a^ d^c§te phriMe iatMi^t. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 5 

To the highest pontiff aod uniyersal pope, Pas- 
chal, Matilda, by God's grace queen of the Eng- 
lish, trusting that he will so dispense in this life 
the rights of the apostolic dignity, that he may 
deserve to be numbered among the apostolic senate 
in the joys of perpetual peace with the companies of 
the just. 

I give all the thanks and praise I can to your 
sublime holiness, O apostolic man, for the things 
which your paternal charity, as though for admoni- 
tion, has deigned to send to me and to my lord the 
king, both frequently by the words of your legates 
and also by your own writings. I visit the thresh- 
old of the most holy Roman apostolic seat, and as 
far as it is lawful and I ain able, clasping your 
paternal knees with my whole heart, my whole soul, 
my whole mind, praying with importune and op- 
portune petition, 1 cease not, nor will I cease, to 
entreat, till I know that my submissive humility, or 
rather the persevering importunity of my application, 
is heard by you. Yet let not your excellency be 
angry, let not the prudent Roman clergy, people, or 
senate, be amazed at this my rashness, that thus I 
presume to speak. Once, once, I say, we and the 
English people, — then how happy! — had, under 
your apostolic dignity, Anselm our archbishop, a 
foster-child of the Holy Ghost, the most prudent 
counsellor and pious father of us and the aforesaid 
people. From the most opulent treasures of his 
Lord, whereof we knew him to hold the keys, he 



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b LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

took abundantly, and bestowed them upon us more 
abundantly; for this same faithful minister and 
prudent dispenser of the Lord seasoned those things 
which he bestowed with the most excellent salt of 
wisdom, softened them with the sweetness of elo- 
quence, and sweetened them by the wonderful con- 
ceits of rhetoric. And so it was that neither did the 
tender lambs lack the abundant milk of the Lord, 
nor the sheep the richest fatness of the pastures, nor 
the pastors the most opulent satiety of aliments. 
But now, when all these things are otherwise, no- 
thing remains but that the pastor wanting food, 
the flock pasture, the young milk, utter forth the 
heaviest groans. Since, by the absence of the chief 
pastor, Anselm, each is deprived of something, or 
rather all of all things. In such lugubrious mourn- 
ings in such opprobrious grief, in such deformity and 
loss of our kingdom, nothing remains to me, stunned 
as I am, but, shaking off my stupor, to fly to the 
blessed Apostle Peter, and his vicar the apostolic 
man. Therefore, my lord, I fly to your benignity, 
lest we and the people of the kingdom of England 
perish in such a defect and lapse. What good will 
our life do us when we go down to corruption? 
Let your paternity take good counsel concerning us, 
and deign, within the term which my lord the king 
asks of your goodness, to let your paternal bowels 
be moved towards us, that we may both rejoice at 
the return of our dearest father. Archbishop Anselm, 
and preserve, uninjured, our subjection to the holy 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. ^ 

apo8tolic see. I, indeed, taught by your most sound 
and gracious advice, will^ as far as woman's strength 
may suffice, and with the help of worthy men, which 
I shall procure, endeavour, with my whole power, 
that my humility may, as far as possible, fulfil what 
your highness advises. May your paternity enjoy 
eternal happiness ! 



LETTER III. 



Adela Countess of Blois, youngest Daughter of 
William the Conqueror^ to Theobald Earl of 
Blois, her Son. a.d. 1130. 

[hAKTENE'S THkSAUKUS ANECDOTUM, VOL. I. COL. 373. FROM THE 
ARCHIVES OF MA&MOUTIEB. Latin,'] 

\* The foUowing letter derives its principal interest from its 
remote antiquity, and from the station and character of its writer. It is 
one of the earliest letters in existence written by a member of the royal 
hoose of England. Of the Lady Adela many interesting records lie 
scattered amongst the ponderous tomes of our ancient Norman and 
French chroniclers. After an early disappointment in love, of which 
some curious particulars are given by Mabillon, in his " Annals of 
St. Benedict/'* she became, in 1075, the wife of Stephen earl of 
Blois. Her commanding character gave her considerable influence 
over her husband, and her name is constantly associated with his in 
the public acts of his government. Stephen joined the ranks of the 
Crusaders in company with Adela's brother, Robert duke of Nor- 
mandy ; but, though he was showy and brilliant in chivalrous accom- 
plishments, he wanted the firmness to brave the privations and perils of 
a Crusader's life. He forsook the Christian host and returned home. 
His countess received him with vehement indignation, and never ceased 
her efforts till she had prevailed on him to seek to redeem his knightly 
character in another crusade. Fatally for himself, he complied with 

• Vol. V. p. 183. 



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8 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

her wishes, but he died in the expedition. Two long letters, written 
by him to Adela during his pilgrimages, are still in existence.* On 
his decease, she became regent of the province during the minority of 
her sons; the eldest of these displaying a weak mind and vicious 
temper, she set him aside in the order of succession, and raised her 
favourite son, Theobald, to whom this letter is addressed, to the earl- 
dom. A few years afterwards, she retired from the busy theatre, on 
which she had played so conspicuous a part, to the quiet seclusion of 
conventual life, and took the veil in the convent of Marcigny. But 
even from the walls of her cloister she still extended her protecting 
influence to those whom she had formerly patronised, particularly to 
the monks of Marmoutier, who had been treated with the most liberal 
fiivour, both by herself and her husband. It was in their behalf that 
the following letter to her son Theobald, and another to Geoffry 
bishop of Chartres, were written. Tlie piety of the Lady Adela is 
highly praised by the Norman chroniclers, as well as her abilities in 
government. Benoit tells us, that ** in France there was no lady 
more beautiful, nor of greater valour, nor who. more loved our Lord.''^ 
She died in the year 1137, being the last survivor of the family of 
William the Conqueror. It will be observed that, in the letter, the 
proud titles of ** daughter of William the most glorious king of 
England, and wife of the noble Stephen earl palatine,'' which she 
adopted in earlier Ufe, are dropped, and she simply styles herself ** the 
nun of Martigny." In the letter to Bishop Geoflfry, before alluded to, 
she adds that to which she stiU clung with maternal pride, ** mother 
of Earl Theobald.'' 



To her dearest Earl of Blois, Adela the nun of 
Marcigny sends the affections of maternal love. 

I remember, dearest son, that while yet I wore a 
secular habit, the canons of St. Carilef complained 
about the tithe of the almsgift of Francville, which 
my consort, namely, the earl your father, and I 
gave to the monks of Marmoutier. About which be 

^ Acher's Spicilegium, vol. iii. p. 430 ; Mabillon's Museum Itali- 
cum, vol. i. p. 237. 

b Harleian MS. 1717, fol. 249, col. 1. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 9 

it known to your grace, that these canons, in our 
presence, dismissed their complaints against the said 
monks, that this quarrel might be set to rest for 
ever without further renewal. Therefore I entreat 
you, dearest son, that our alms which we freely 
gave to the monks you will as freely keep for them, 
nor let the church of Marmoutier be teased with any 
further controversy about this affair. Farewell. 



LETTER IV. 

The Empress Matilda^ Daughter of Henry /., to 
Thomas a Becket Archbishop of Canterbury. 
A.D. 1166. 

' [BOUaXTET's KSCUEIL DES HISTOKIENS DE LA FRANCE, VOL. XVI. 

p. 235. Latin.'] 

%* After the accession of Henry II. to the crown of England, 
when the disturbances between the king and Becket, the sabtle and 
uncompromising Archbishop of Canterbury, arose, which shook the 
rery throne of the great Plantagenet, Matilda was appealed to as 
mediatrix, her lore of the Church and of her son rendering her alike 
acceptable to both parties. The penetration and sagacity which she 
evidenced in a contest so full of difficulty are commemorated even by 
those most opposed to her views. Nicolas of Rouen, an adherent of 
Becket, thus speaks of her in a letter to the archbishop : '* You must 
know that the lady empress was ingenious in defence of her son, ex- 
cusing him now by his love of justice, and now on accoimt of the 
malice of some of the bishops. She was acute and discreet in com- 
prehending the origin of the church disturbances ; she said some 
things, in which we greatly praise and admire her sense, and made 
many acute remarks on the plurality of benefices and the idleness and 
luxury of some of the clergy, who have no fear of bdng called to 

32 



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10 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

account y do what they will; and these statements she illustrated by- 
recent examples/' 

The following letter was written by the empress to the archbishop 
during the course of the controversy, at the special request of the 
pope, Alexander III. The style is cold and abrupt, and through 
every sentence the feelings of the mother, who resents the injuries 
done to her son, are traceable. There are few more beautiful scenes 
in history than that presented by the aged empress, fast declining in 
the vale of years, yet rousing her expiring energies to guard the in- 
terests of that son in whose favour crown and coronet had been alike 
relinquished. She died shortly after the date of this letter, on the 
10th of September, 1167, about one o'clock a.m. Her life, written by 
Amulph bishop of Lisieux, was formerly preserved among the MSS. 
of the College of Navarre, at Paris, but is now sought for in vain.* 
Hugh de Fleury dedicated to her the continuation of his French 
History."* 



To Thomas archbishop of Canterbury, Matilda 
the empress. 

. My lord pope sent to me, enjoining me, for 
the remission of my sins, to interfere to renew 
peace and concord between you and the king, 
my son, and to try to reconcile you to him. You, 
as you well know, have asked the same thing from 
me; wherefore, with the more good-will, for the 
honour of God and the Holy Church, I have begun 
and carefully treated of that affair. But it seems 
a very hard thing to the king, as well as to his 
barons and council, seeing he so loved and honoured 
you, and appointed you lord of his whole kingdom 
and of all his lands, and raised you to the highest 
honours in the land, believing he might trust you 

^ Introduction to the Rotuli Scaocarii Normanme, by Thomas 
Stapleton, Esq. F.A.S., vol. i. p. xc. 
** Bouquet, vol. zvi. p. 226. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 11 

rather than any other ; and especially so, because he 
declares that you have, as far as you could, roused 
his whole kingdom against him ; nor was it your 
fault that you did not disinherit him by main force. 
Therefore I send you my faithful servant, Arch- 
deacon Laurence, that by him I may know your 
will in these affairs, and what sort of disposition you 
entertain towards my son, and how you intend to 
conduct yourself, if it should happen that he fully 
grants my petition and prayer on your behalf. One 
thing I plainly tell you, that you cannot recover the 
king's favour, except by great humility and most 
evident moderation. However, what you intend to 
do in this matter signify to me by my messenger and 
your letters. 



LETTER V. 



Mary^ Daughter of King Stephen^ Countess of Bo- 
hgne^ to Louis VII. King of France, a.d. 1168. 

[sOUaUET'S RECUEIL DES HISTORIENS OE LA FRANCE, VOL. XVI. 

p. 144. Latin,'\ 

*^* The Countess Mary was the last survivor of the once royal 
house of the aspiring usurper, Stephen of Blois. Her sister and her eldest 
brother, Prince Baldwin, died in infancy. Touching mementoes of the 
sorrowful affection which followed them to the tomb are to be found 
in the rich endowments offered by their parents for the welfare of their 
souls.^ Prince Eustace, long the heir-apparent to the throne of Eng- 

*■ Monasticon Anglicanum, new edition, vol. vi. pp. 694, 153. 
Hearne's William of Newbridge, nota: et spicilegium, p. 705. 



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12 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

land, died in 1153, just at the crigLs when his glittering prospects were 
blighted by the agreement entered into by King Stephen, to bequeath 
his crown and realm to its lawful heir, Prince Henry. WilUam earl 
of Boulogne, Mortain, and Warren, the sole sundving son, died child- 
less in ll60. On his decease the two latter earldoms reverted to the 
English king, but that of Boulogne, which he had inherited through 
his mother, devolved upon his sister, Mary. She had been early 
dedicated to the cloister, and first took the veil at the priory of Strat- 
ford ; she then became prioress of Lillechurch, a nunnery founded 
expressly for her by her fsither, and richly endowed by him and the 
queen, and was at length promoted to the abbacy of Rumsey, one of 
the most celebrated convents in England.* But when the young 
abbess held possession in her own right of a rich and fertile earldom 
she became an object of conspicuous attention, and Henry II., her 
nearest relation, took advantage of the unprotected helplessness of the 
orphan princess, and, in spite of her saintly vows, compelled her to 
become the wife of Matthew, son of the Earl of Flanders, hoping by 
this means to secure the alliance of that powerful house. Almost all 
contemporary writers speak of the reluctance with which the abbess 
Mary entered into these sacrilegious nuptials. Tlie following letter, 
written about the year 1168,i* affords proof of the bitter feelings she 
entertained towards the English king, who had been the author of her 
forced union. It was written during a temporary absence of Matthew, 
who had assumed the title of Earl of Boulogne, and governed the 
province in right of his wife. After nine years of wedded life, during 
which she had become the mother of two daughters, Matthew per- 
mitted his wife to return again to Hie conventual seclusion from which 
she had been forced. She chose as the place of her retirement the 
Convent of St. Austrebert, near Montreuil, which she entered as a 
simple nun in 1169, and died there twelve years afterwards, in 1181, 
having experienced in her short existence of forty-five years more 
painful vicissitudes than often fall to the lot of sorrowing humanity. 



To her reverend lord Louis, king of the French, 
Mary, countess of Bologne, sends health and service. 

• Monast. Anglic, vol. iv. p. 378 ; vol. ii. p. 506. 
*> See Bouquet's Recueil des Historiens de la France, vol. xvi. 
p. 144, note B. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. IS 

Let it be known to your highness that Henry, 
king of England^ has sent his ambassadors to the 
emperor. It is certain that he has^ for the most 
part, succeeded in obtaining what he wished ; for 
the emperor shews himself kindly disposed to the 
king, and his (the king's) ambassadors being on 
their return, he has not hesitated to send his own 
with them to him, which he thought the best course, 
lest the aforesaid king should doubt whether he was 
sincere in his assistance against you. The returning 
ambassadors passed through my territories, and I 
spoke with them, and well I perceived from their 
words that the English king ceases not, day nor 
night, to devise mischief against you. Wherefore I 
thought it fitting to send to your grace, and to give 
you the necessary forewarning, that you may take 
counsel with your wise men, and act as is most 
fitting, lest the impetuous presumption of the frau- 
dulent king should inflict violent injury upon you. 
Fare you well. 



LETTER VL 



Eleanora Queen of England^ Widow of henry II., 
to Pope Celestine. a.d. 1192. 

[PETRI PLB8ENSI8 EPISTOLJS, NO. CXLYI. Latin,} 

*i^* The following letter is one of three which were written by 
Eleanora of Aqnitaine, at that Jtime regent of England, urging the 
liberation of her son, Richard Coeur de lion, from the cruel captivity 
in which he was detained by the Emperor Henry YI. The scribe 



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14 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

employed by the queen was the celebrated Peter of Blois, who was 
a sort of letter-writer in ordinary to the court of England ; and though 
this eloquent epistle doubtless owes to him some of Its learned 
allusions and poetic phraseology, yet the passionate spirit that breathes 
throughout, together with the stem reproaches it contains against the 
head of the church, plainly prove that the sentiments were those of the 
queen : for, surely, no churchman of the twelfth century would have 
dared to utter rebukes so poignant as those herein contained. In spite 
of the well-known faults of her early life, Eleanora was a fond and a 
faithful mother ; her attachment to her brave son Richard, who had 
always been her favourite, is strongly marked in this letter, which also 
exonerates her from any share in the base proceedings of her youngest 
son, John. From one allusion which she makes, it appears that she 
actually paid a visit to the pope to procure his aid in the liberation of 
her son, but was deluded with £Edr words only. We should transport 
ourselves in imagination to the darkness of the twelfth century, when 
the fetters of spiritual despotism lay cold and heavy on the heart, to 
appreciate the fearless boldness which dared to point out, and in 
trumpet tones to reprimand, the cowardice, the slothfulness, and the 
venality, of the Romish see and its adherents. Yet this voice was that 
of a feeble woman, but that woman was a mother roused almost to 
frenzy by the wrongs and sufferings of her child. Who can read 
without emotion her passionate bewailings, alike over her dead and 
living children ? So powerfully were her feelings excited, that in one 
letter she calls herself ** Eleanora, by the wrath of God queen of 
England.'' It need scarcely be added that she not only lived to see the 
consummation of her hopes in the return of her beloved Richard, but 
also to weep over his early bier. 



To the reverend father and lord Celestine, by 
God*s grace highest pontiff, Eleanora the miserable, 
and I would I could add the commiserated,* queen 
of England, duchess of Normandy, countess of Anjou, 
entreating him to shew himself a father of mercy to 
a miserable mother. 

* The point of this phrase evaporates in a translation of the words, 
'' muera et utinam miaerabilis,** 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 15 

I am prevented, O holiest pope, by the great 
distance which parts us, from addressing you per- 
sonally ; yet I must bewail my grief a little, and 
who shall assist me to write my words ? 

1 am all anxiety, internally and externally, 
whence my very words are full of grief. Without 
are fears, within contentions ; nor have I a moment 
wherein to breathe freely from the tribulation of 
evils, and the grief occasioned by the troubles 
which ever find me out. I am all defiled with grief, 
and my bones cleave to ray skin, for my flesh is 
wasted away. My years pass away in groanings, 
and 1 would they were altogether passed away. O 
that the whole blood of my body would now die, 
that the brain of my head and the marrow of my 
bones were so dissolved into tears that I might melt 
away in weeping ! My very bowels are torn away 
from me ; I have lost the light of my eyes, the stafi^ 
of my old age : and, would God accede to my wishes, 
he would condemn me to perpetual blindness, that 
my wretched eyes might no longer behold the woes 
of my people. Who will grant me the boon of dying 
for thee, my son ? O mother of mercy ! look upon a 
mother so wretched ; or if thy Son, the inexhausted 
fount of mercy, is avenging the sins of the mother 
on the son, let him exact vengeance from her who 
has alone sinned : let him punish me, the wicked 
one, and not amuse himself with the punishment of 
an innocent person. Let him who hath begun the 
task, who now bruises me, take away his hand and 



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16 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

slay me ; and this shall be my consolation, that, 
afflicting me with grief, he spares me not. O 
wretched me, yet pitied by none! why have I, the 
mistress of two kingdoms, the mother of two kings, 
reached the ignominy of a detested old age ? 

My bowels are torn away, my very race is de- 
stroyed and passing away from me. The young 
king and the Earl of Bretagne^ sleep in the dust, 
and their most unhappy mother is compelled to live 
that she may be ever tortured with the memory of 
the dead. Two sons yet survived to my solace, who 
now survive only to distress me, a miserable and 
condemned creature : King Richard is detained in 
bonds, and John, his brother, depopulates the cap- 
tive's kingdom with the sword, and lays it waste 
with fire. In all things the Lord is become cruel 
towards me, and opposes me with a heavy hand. 
Truly his anger fights against me, when my very 
sons fight against each other, — if, indeed, that can 
be called a fight in which one party languishes in 
bonds, and the other, adding grief to grief, tries, 
by cruel tyranny to usurp the exile's kingdom to 
himself. 

O good Jesus ! who will grant me thy protection, 
and hide me in hell itself till thy fury passes away, 
and till thy arrows whiqh are in me, by whose vehe- 
mence my very spirit is drunk up, shall cease ? I 
long for death, I am weary of life ; and though I 

> Her eldest son, Henry, crowned king during his father's lifetime, 
and her third son, Geoffry, fkther of the unfortunate Prince Arthur. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 17 

thus die incessantly, I yet desire to die more fally ; 
I am reluctantly compelled to live, that my life may 
be the food of death and a means of torture. O 
happy ye who pass away by a fortunate abortion, 
without experiencing the waywardness of this life 
and the unexpected events of an uncertain con- 
dition ! What do I ? why do I remain ? why do I^ 
wretched, delay ? why do I not go, that I may see 
him whom my soul loves, bound in beggary and 
irons? as though, at such a time, a mother could 
forget the son of her womb ! Affection to their young 
softens tigers, nay, even the fiercer sorceresses. 

Yet I fluctuate in doubt : for, if I go away, de- 
serting my son's kingdom, which is laid waste on 
all sides with fierce hostility, it will in my absence 
be destitute of all counsel and solace ; again, if I 
stay, I shall not see the face of my son, that face 
which I so long for. There will be none who will 
study to procure the liberation of my son, and, what 
1 fear still more, the most delicate youth* will be 
tormented for an impossible quantity of money, and, 
impatient of so much affliction, will easily be 
brought to the agonies of death. Oh, impious, 
cruel, and dreadful tyrant ! who hast not feared to 
lay sacrilegious hands on the anointed of the Lord ! ^ 
nor has the royal unction, nor the reverence due to 

* It is amusing to find maternal tenderness employing the terms 
** delicatissimus adolescens»'' to designate the sturdy form of Richard 
Coeur de Lion. 

^ ** Christum Domini;'' the word Christum is here used in its 
literal acceptation as *' the Anomted." 



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18 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

a holy life, nor the fear of God, restrained thee from 
such inhumanity ! 

Yet the prince of the apostles still rules and 
reigns in the apostolic seat, and his judicial rigour 
is set up as a means of resort : this one thing re- 
mains, that you, O father, draw against these evil- 
doers the sword of Peter, which for this purpose is 
set over people and kingdoms. The cross of Christ 
excels the eagles of CsBsar, the sword of Peter the 
sword of Constantine, and the apostolic seat is 
placed above the imperial power. Is your power of 
God or of men ? Has not the God of gods spoken to 
you by the Apostle Peter, that " whatsoever you bind 
on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever 
you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven ?"" 
Wherefore, then, do you so long negligently, nay, 
cruelly, delay to free my son, or rather do not dare 
to do it ? You will, perhaps, say that this power is 
given to you over souls, not over bodies : be it so ; 
it will certainly suffice me if you will bind their 
souls who hold my son bound in prison. It is your 
province to loose my son, unless the fear of God has 
given way to human fear. Restore my son to me, 
then, O man of God, if indeed thou art a man of 
God and not a man of blood ; for know that, if thou 
art sluggish in the liberation of my son, from thy 
hand will the Most High require his blood. Alas, 
alas for us, when the chief shepherd has become a 
mercenary, when he flies from the face of the wolf, 

• Matt. xvi. 19. 



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II/LUSTRIOUS LADIES. 19 

when he leaves the little sheep committed to him, 
or rather the elect ram, the leader of the Lord's 
flock, in the jaws of the bloody beast of prey! The 
good Shepherd instructs and informs other shepherds 
not to fly when they see the wolf coming, but to lay 
down their lives for the sheep. Save, therefore, I 
entreat thee, thine own soul, whilst, by urgent em- 
bassies, by salutary advice, by the thunders of ex- 
communication, by general interdicts, by terrible 
sentences, thou endeavourest to procure the libera- 
tion, I will not say of thy sheep merely, but of 
thy son. Though late, you ought to give your life 
for him, for whom, as yet, you have refused to write 
or speak a single word. The Son of God, as tes- 
tifies the prophet, came down from heaven that he 
might bring up them that were bound from the pit in 
which was no water.* Now, would not that which 
was fitting for God to do become the servant of 
God ? My son is tormented in bonds, yet you go 
not down to him, nor send, nor are moved by the 
sorrow of Joseph. Christ sees this and is silent ; yet 
at the last there shall be fearful retribution for those 
who do the work of God negligently. Ambassadors 
have been promised to us three times, but never 
sent ; so that« to speak the truth, they are bound 
rather than sent.** If my son were in prosperity, 
they would eagerly hasten at his lightest call, be- 

• Zech. ix. 11. 

^ The play of words is lost in translation ; ** ligati potius quam 
legatV' 



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20 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

cause they would expect rich handfuls for their em- 
bassy from his great munificence and the public 
profit of the kingdom. But what profit could be 
more glorious to them than to liberate a captive king, 
to restore peace to the people, quiet to the religious, 
and joy to all? Now, truly, the sons of Ephraim, 
who bent and sent forth the bow, have turned 
round in the day of battle ;^ and in the time of dis 
tresSy when the wolf comes upon the prey, they are 
dumb dogs who either cannot or will not bark. 
Is this the promise you made me at the castle of 
Ralph ^ with such protestations of favour and good 
faith ? What availed it to give words only to my 
simplicity, and to illude by a fond trust the wishes 
of the innocent ? So, in olden time, was King Ahab 
forbidden to make alliance with Ben-hadad, and we 
have heard the fatal issue of their mutual love.*^ 
A heavenly providence prospered the wars of Judas, 
John,^ and Simon, the Maccabsean brothers, under 
happy auspices ; but when they sent an embassy to 
secure the friendship of the Romans, they lost the 
help of God, and, not once alone, but often was 
their venal intimacy cause of bitter regret.* You 
alone, who were my hope after God, and the trust 
of my people, force me to despair. Cursed be he 
who trusteth in man. Where is now my refuge? 

* There is an anachronism in this allusion. The sending forth of a 
hended bow was in ancient times a challenge of war, but we have no 
reason to suppose that it was in use amongst the Hebrews. 

»» " Castrum Radulphi." « See 1 Kings, xx. 

^ Jonathan. « See 1 Maccabees, vii. and ix. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* 21 

Thou, O Lord^ my God. To thee, O Lord, who 
considerest my distress, are the eyes of thine hand- 
maid lifted up. Thou, O King of kings and Lord 
of lords, look upon the face of thine Anointed, give 
empire to thy Son, and save the son of thine hand- 
maid, nor visit upon him the crimes of his father or 
the wickedness of his mother ! 

We know by certain and public relation that 
the emperor, after the death of the fiishop of Liege 
(whom he is said to have slain with a fiital sword, 
though wielded by a remote hand), miserably im- 
prisoned the Bishop of Ostia and four other pro- 
vincials, the Bishop of Salerno, and the Archbishop 
of Treves ; and the apostolic authority cannot deny 
that, to the perpetual prejudice of the Roman 
church, he has, in spite of embassies, supplications, 
and threats of the apostolic seat, taken possession of 
Sicily, which from the times of Constantine has 
been the patrimony of St. Peter. Yet with all this 
his fury is not yet turned away, but yet is his hand 
stretched forth. Fearful things he has already done, 
but worse are still certainly to be expected ; for 
those who ought to be the pillars of the church 
are swayed with reed-like lightness by every wind. 
Oh, would they but remember that it was through 
the negligence of Eli, the priest ministering in Shiloh, 
that the glory of the Lord passed away from Israel I*" 
Nor is that a mere parable of the past, but of the 

* See 1 Samuel) iii. and ir. 



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22 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

present. For the Lord drove from Shiloh the taber- 
nacle, his tabernacle, where he had dwelt amongst 
men, and gave their strength into captivity and 
, their beauty into the hands of the enemy. 

It is imputed to your pusillanimity that the 
church is trampled upon, the faith perilled, liberty 
oppressed, deceit encouraged by patience, iniquity 
by impunity. Where is the promise of God when 
be said to his church, ^' Thou shalt suck the milk of 
the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings ?" 
">I will make thee the pride of ages, and a joy from 
generation to generation."* Once the church, by 
its own strength, trod upon the necks of the proud 
and the lofty, and the laws of emperors obeyed the' 
sacred canons. But things are changed, and not 
only the canons, but the very formers of the canons, 
are restrained by base laws and execrable customs. 
The detestable crimes of the powerful are borne 
with. None dare murmur, and canonical rigour 
falls on the sins of the poor alone. Therefore, not 
without reason did Anachar^is the philosopher 
compare laws and canons to spiders' webs, which 
reti^in weaker animals but let the stronger go. 
^* The kings of the earth have set themselves, and 
the rulers have taken counsel together/*^ i^ainst 
my son, the anointed of the Lord. One binds him 
in chains, another devastates his lands with cruel 
hostility, or, to use a vulgar phrase, " One clips and 
another plunders ; one holds the foot and another 

• Isaiah, Ix. 16, 15. ^ Psaln^ii. 2. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 23 

skins it." The highest pontiff sees these things, 
and yet bids the sword of Peter slumber in its 
scabbard ; so he adds boldness to the sinner, his 
silence being presumed to indicate consent. He 
who corrects^ not when he can and ought seems 
even to consent, and his dissimulating patience 
shall not want the scruple of hidden companion- 
ship.'* The time of dissension predicted by the 
apostle draws on, when the son of perdition shall 
be revealed ; dangerous times are at hand, when 
the seamless garment of Christ is cut, the net of 
Peter is broken, and the solidity of Catholic unity 
dissolved. These are the beginnings of sorrows. 
We feel bad things ; we fear worse. I am no pro- 
phetess, nor the daughter of a prophet, but grief 
has suggested many things about future disturb- 
ances ; yet it steals away the very words which it 
suggests. A sob intercepts my breath, and absorbing 
grief shutS' up by its anxieties the vocal passages of 
my soul. Farewell. 



The reader will probably smile at the concluding apology- for 
briefness, in tiiis prolix yet interesting epistle. In her third and last 
letter to the pontiff,*^ Eleanora apologises, and not without cause, for 
the boldness with which she addresses him. '* But I beseech you, O 
father,'' s^s she, ** let your benignity bear with that which is the 

» Printed corripitf but the sense seems to require corrigity which 
was probably the word originally written. 

^ Ratiier obscure : '^ £t dissimulatrix patientia societatis occultae 
scrupulo non carebit.'' It probably means that companionship in 
guilt will not be wanting which may help to satisfy his scruples. 

<i Petri Blesensis epistole, No. oxlv. 



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24 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

efiiinon of grief ratiier than of deliberation. I have sinned, and lue the 
words of Job :' I have said that which I would I had not said. 
Bat henceforth I place my finger on my lips, and say no more. 
Farewell/' 



LETTER VII. 

EUanora of Bretagne^ Orand-daughter of Henry 11. 
and Sister to Prince Arthur, to her Subjects in 
Bretagne* a.d. 1208. 

[patent roll or the tenth of king JOHN, MEMBRANE V. IN 

DORSo. Latin.'} 

\* Eleanora of Bretagne, commonly called the Fair Maid of 
Brittany, was die daughter of King John's elder brother, Geoffry, and 
consequently, on tiie death of her brotiier Arthur, the rightful heir to 
the English throne. The account given by the chroniclers of this lady 
is, that she was detained in rigorous captivity in the castle of Bristol,, 
by her uncle, King John, and afterwards by her cousin, Henry III., 
because she positively refused to renounce her right to the crown. If, 
however, it was an established law in England, as appears from an 
entry on die close roll of tiie thirteenth of Henry III.,'' ** that it is not 
the custom or law in our land of England, that the daughter of an 
elder brother should impede die younger brother in his succession to 
the paternal inheritance," the English monarchs need not have stood 
in such dread of their beautiful but helpless relation. The mysterious 
death of Prince Arthur in 1202 was accompanied by the imprisonment 
of his sister, then a young girl sixteen or seventeen years of age. 
For some time, however, she was unaware of the hopeless, unending 
captivity to which she was to be subjected. In the following let- 
ter, she not only assumes the titles due to her, as heiress o| Bretagne 
and Richmond, but expresses a hope of her speedy liberation — a hope 
doomed to perpetual disappointment. Her letter to her subjects was 

» Chap. iv. ver. 4. 

^ Membrane 15, in dorso, quoted in p. xxxvi. of die introduction to^ 
the printed close rolls of John and Henry III., edited by T. Duffus 
Hardy, Esq. F.A.S. keeper of th« records in the Tower of London. 



V 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. ^ 

accompanied by the safe conduct alluded to therein ; the king aayi he 
has granted it at the instance of his ** dearest niece Eleanora," b«t 
refrains from giTing her the titles which she herself assumed. A few 
years afterwards, a document in the Foedera mentions the safe transfer 
of the castle of Gloncesteri and of Eleanora, the king's niece, from 
William, her former gaoler, to the king. Her captivity was not, how- 
ever, of a severe or rigorous character. The people of Bretagne, not 
choosing to involve themselves in a quarrel with England, acknow- 
ledged her younger sister, Alice, as their duchess ; and, without friends 
and without help, liberty would have been a bootless boon to the un* 
fortunate princess. She had two companions in the sisters of Alex- 
ander king of Scotland, who were in the keeping of the king, to be 
honourably provided for by him in marriage. The following entries 
from the printed close rolls of John and Henry III. give an insight 
into the treatment and mode of life of this illustrious lady : — 

** The Mayor of Winchester is commanded to send in haste to the 
king, for the use of his niece Eleanora and the two daughters of the 
King of Scotland, robes of dark. green, namely, tunics and super- 
tunics, with capes of cambric and fiur of miniver, and twenty-three 
yards of good linen cloth ; also, for the use of the king's niece, one 
good cap of dark brown, furred with miniver, and one hood for rainy 
weather, for the use of the same ; besides robes of bright green for 
the use of her three waiting-maids, namely, tunics and supertunics, 
and cloaks, with caps of miniver or rabbit-skins, and fan of lamb's- 
skin ; and thin shoes, for tiie use of the daughters of the King of 
Scotland, the king's niece, and her three waiting-maids ; and, also, 
for the use of the king's niece, one saddle with gilded reins. And the 
mayor is to come himself with all the above articles to Corf, there to 
receive the money for the cost of the same."' 

'* The mayor and reeves of Winchester are ordered to send with- 
out delay, to Corf constabulary, for the use of the king's niece, a 
beautiful saddle with scarlet ornaments and gilded reins."** 

** The treasurer and chamberlains are ordered to pay to Andrew 
Bukerel 6/. 14«. 2d, which he laid out by the king's command in the 
following articles : namely, a silken couch, price 1/. 10«. ld», and 
delivered to John de Cundi, for the use of Eleanora the king's cousin, 
and Isabella daughter of the King of Scotland ; two coverlets of fine 
linen, price 2/. 28, Id.f likewise for their use ; and six yards and a 
half of scarlet, price 1/. 3«., to make two coverlets, also for the use of 

» Date July 6tii, 15 John, p. 144. ^ August 9tii, Ibid. p. 150. 
VOL. I. C 



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26 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

the same ; and six yards and a half of dark green, price 13*. , to 
make a robe for the use of their waiting-maid ; one fur of lamb's-skin, 
price 48, f for the use of the same waiting-maid ; and forty yards of 
linen cloth, price 2U., for the use of the same Eleanoraand Isabella.' '* 

'^ The treasurer and chamberlains are ordered to pay out of the 
treasury to Master John de Beauchamp, the physician who ad- 
ministered medicine to the king's cousin, Eleanora, when sick, three 
marks, to purchase a palfrey in the room of the palfrey which he had 
lost in returning from Corf to London." >> 

** The Sheriff of Gloucester is ordered to cause necessaries to be 
provided for the king's cousin Eleanora, and her two waiting-maids, 
who are stajring, by the king's order, in Gloucester Castle ; and for 
Walter de St. Audoen, Richard de Landa, and Gilbert de Greinyille, 
the keepers of the same Eleanora, with their six horses and eight men, 
together with the domestic establishment of the same Eleanora, as long 
as they stay there by the king's order ; and the cost incurred for this is 
to be accounted to him at the Exchequer. "<^ 

** The sheriffs of London are ordered to let Ralph Musard have 
five ounces of silk for the use of Eleanora, the king's cousin."** 

" The king to Peter de Orivall, greeting. We command you to 
let William our tailor have of our money, which is in your custody, 
10/. to discharge the expenses of our cousin Eleanora at Marlborough. 
Let him also have two marks for the use of four foot servants, staying 
in our castle at Marlborough for the custody of the same Eleanora."* 

** The treasurers and chamberlains are to- pay out of the treasury to 
Robert Lovel, the bearer of the order, 10/. to defray the expenses of 
the king's cousin Eleanora." ' 

^* The sheriffs of London are ordered to let Robert Lovel have one 
frail of figs, and another of almonds, for the use of the king's cousin, 
Eleanora."* 

From the above entries it appears that Eleanora was not always 
confined to Bristol Castle, but occasionally visited the royal residences 
of Gloucester and Marlborough. Similar notices abound on every 

• December 8th, 6 Henry III. p. 483. 
•» June 13th, Ibid. 

<^ August 7th, p. 507. 
^ August 19th, p. 509. 

• August 20th, 7 Henry III. p. 560. 

' November 13th, 8 Henry HI. p. 575. 
. fi Ibid. From the introduction to the close rolls, pp. xxxvi. xxxviL 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 27 

close and liberate roll of tiie early part of the reign of Henry III., 
down to the year 1241, when she expired at Bristol Castle, and the 
king ordered the sum of 27/. 7«. 4(f. to be paid for her funeral 
expenses.* 

The case of Eleanora of Bretagne affords one among many proofs 
that might be adduced of the extreme value of state records, when 
brought to bear upon particular points of history or biography, in cor- 
recting the mistakes and rectifying the misapprehensions that hare 
arisen from relying solely on less authentic sources of information. 



Eleanora, duchess of Bretagne and countess of 
Richmond, to her dear and faithful lords the bishops 
of Nantes, Vannes, and Cornwall, and to Eudo de 
Poule, and Geoffry Espine, and Oliver de Rugy, 
and Pagan de Mal-Estrail, and all other her barons 
and faithful subjects of Bretagne, greeting. 

We give you manifold thanks concerning the 
things of which you have informed us, and earnestly 
entreat you that you, the above-named, come to 
England to my lord and uncle the king of England ; 
and know you, certainly, that your advent will, God 
willing, tend to your and our great honour and con- 
venience, and, by God's grace, to our liberation. 

We have spoken with our said uncle about 
affording you a safe-conduct, and he is glad of 
your coming, and sends you his letters patent of 
safe-conduct ; and you may all come safely by 
means of those letters — or as many of you as can, 
if all cannot come. 

Witness myself, at Sarum, the 27th day of May. 

* Liberate roll, 25 Henry III. memb. 6, date August 27th. 



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28 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER VIII. 

Isabella Queen^ Dowager of England^ Countess of 
March and AngouUmey to her Son Henry III, 
A.D. 1220. 

[rotal letter no. 392, tower of London. Orig, Latin,'] 

\* The romantic history of the beautiful and high-spirited Isabella 
of Angouleme, the wife of King John, is too well known to need any 
lengthened detail. Betrotiied in early life to Hugh X., sumamed 
Le Brun, earl of March, she broke off her engagement with him in 
favour of her royal suitor. The year subsequent to her marriage she 
became the mother of a princess named Joanna. The date of her 
birth has been generally misplaced by some years, being assigned to 
1213 or 1214 ; but an entry in the Rotuli Normannise, * recently 
edited by Thomas Stapleton, Esq. F.A.S., proves that King John's 
eldest daughter was living in the year 1203. When the young Joanna 
grew up to girlhood, she was demanded in marriage by the former 
suitor of her mother, Hugh le Bran. His suit was granted, and she 
was actually sent to him, and was in his keeping on the death of her 
fiither, King John, in 1216. But a revolution speedily took place in 
her affairs. Queen Isabella, now a widow, resumed her former fasci- 
nation over the heart of her quondam lover. The daughter was 
abandoned for the mother ; and Isabella, whose first marriage had 
been one of ambition, now yielded to the claims of long-tried and 
faithful affection, and became tbe wife of Earl Hugh. This match was 
entered into privately when the queen was on the Continent, and with- 
out the knowledge of her young son. King Henry, and his council. 
The following letter was written to anuQunce her marriage, and, in the 
ingenuity with which she endeavours to account for her conduct on 
political grounds, affords an amusing specimen of womanly /neMe. 

Two other original letters of Queen Isabella are in the Tower 
collection.^ One addressed to her son, Henry III., in which she styles 
herself his humble mother, queen of England, renewing an application 
which before she had often and vainly made for his counsel and aid, and 
stating that she should be unable to govern and defend her territory in 

• Vol. u. p. 569. ^ Nos. 393, 394. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 9Q 

ease of a breach of the trace with France. In tfaif letter ihe speaks of 
the Earl of March as *^ our husband, your father,** The other, 
which is greatly defaced through the application of an infusion of 
galls, is addressed to Pandulph, bishop elect of Norwich and papal 
legate in England, concerning the restoration of some lands to Bartho- 
lomew de Puy. It was eridently written after the death of King J(^, 
but before the second marriage of Isabella, because, though she twice 
makes fiivourable mention of Hugh de Lusignan, she does not speak 
of him as her husband. 



To her dearest son Henry, by the grace of God 
king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Nor- 
mandy and Aquitaine, earl of Anjou, Isabella, by 
the same grace queen of England, lady of Ireland, 
duchess of Normandy and Aquitaine, countess of 
Anjou and Angoul^me, sends health and her ma- 
ternal benediction. 

We hereby signify to you that when the Earls of 
March and Eu * departed this life, the lord Hugh de 
Lusignan remained alone and without heirs in Poic- 
tou, and his friends would not permit that our daugh- 
ter should be united to him in marriage, because her 
age is so tender, but counselled him to take a wife 
from whom he might speedily hope for an heir ; and 
it was proposed that he .should take a wife in France, 
which if he had done, all your land in Poictou and 
Gascony would be lost. We, therefore, seeing the 
great peril that might accrue if that marriage should 
take place, when our counsellors could give us no 
advice, ourselves married the said Hugh earl of 
March ; and God knows that we did this rather 

* The father and unde of De Lusignaa. 



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so LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

for your benefit than our own. Wherefore we entreat 
you, as our dear son, that this thing may be pleasing 
to you, seeing it conduces greatly to the profit of you 
and yours ; and we earnestly pray you that you will 
restore to him his lawful right, that is Niort, the 
castles of Exeter and Rockingham, and 3500 marks, 
which your father, our former husband, bequeathed 
to us ; and so, if it please you, deal with him, who 
is so powerful, that he may not remain against you,* 
since he can serve you well — for he is wdl-disposed 
to serve you faithfully with all his power ; and we 
are certain and undertake that he shall serve you 
well if you will restore to him his rights, and, there- 
fore, we advise that you take opportune counsel on 
these matters; and, when it shall please you, you 
may send for our daughter, your sister, by a trusty 
messenger and your letters patent, and we will send 
her to you. 



LETTER IX. 



Queen Berengaria, Widow of Richard Cceur de Lion^ 
to Peter Bishop of Winchester, a.d. 1220. 

[royal letter no. 285, tower of London. Grig. Latin,'] 

\* The two following letters are inserted less for the intrinsic 
interest of their contents than as literary curiosities, being amongst 

■^ This passage is rather obscure. The original runs as follows :— 
** £t ita si placet tos habeatis erga eum qui tarn potens est quod in 
Tobis non remaneaf 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 31 

the earliest epistles of an English queen of which the original is in 
existence. A ikcsimile of one of them is given in the frontispiece to 
this Yolnme, as affording a correct specimen of the abbreviated Latin 
in which all state records of that early period are written. Mystic as 
the characters may seem to the uninitiated eye, the abbreviations are 
in reality so regular that, in spite of their numbers and minuteness, 
these documents may usually be read with as much accuracy as a 
modem printed volume. Of the crusading queen of Coeur de Lion 
the remaining records are so slight that we may be pardoned for 
detailing with more than usual minuteness such particulars as have 
not before been noticed. She was a frequent visitor at the court of 
her brotiier>in-law King John, as we find from the numerous safe- 
conducts granted to her and her servants, with freedom from all the 
customs usually exacted at the ports. Her first visit was in the second 
year of his reign, a.d. 1201, when the king gave a special order that 
she should be received with great honour as his dearest sister.* 

In 1207 Pope Innocent III., as the especial guardian of widows 
and orphans, commanded one half of the moveables of King Richard 
to be given her by the king.** 

In March 1215 some secret correspondence was carried on between 
her and John, the purport of which is not known. The king wrote to 
her, pledging himself to reveal nothing of what had passed between 
himself and her messengers ; and she, on the other hand, was bound 
to the same secrecy.^ 

In the year 1216, in spite of the troublous state of the realm, Be- 
rengaria was disposed to take a tour of pleasure through England, and 
the king gave her unlimited power of travelling where she chose.' Her 
visit at this time was probably occasioned by her desire to recover 
part of her revenues, John having told her, in a piteous epistle, that 
the distressed state of his affairs prevented his remitting her dower 
regularly.* The queen experienced much difficulty in obtaining the 
jointure settled upon her by King Richard. It was originally fixed 
at 1000 marks a-year;' but the arrears so accumulated that, in 
1215, she entered into a convention by which, in lieu of arrears, 
she received 1000^. per year.ff The style adopted by her is the same 
as that in her letters, ** Berengaria, by the grace of God formerly 
tiie humble Queen of England.'' This convention was soLenmly rati- 

* Charter roll, 2 John, p. 103. ^ Foedera, vol. i. p. 97. 

« Close roll, 16 John, p. 202. ^ Patent roll, 18 John, p. 197. 

• Foedera, vol. i. p. 141. ' Ibid. p. 84. ff Ibid. p. 138. 



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32 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

fied by an oath sworn on die soul of the Icmg, and the pope was 
appealed to to confirm it. At the same time the castles of Mairevent 
and Poictou and the city of Mans were confirmed to her in case they 
could be rescued from the French king.' In the reign of Henry III. 
the arrears having again accumulated, her annual payments were in- 
creased to 2000 marks.i> Messengers sent from her to that monarch 
are frequently mentioned. Walter, the messenger alluded to in the 
queen's first letter, received three marks for his own expenses in 
going and returning, as well as the 1000 marks, the instalment of her 
dowry, on the 24th of November, 1220 ; ^ thereby fixing the date of her 
letter to that year. The latter was written four years afterwards from 
Mans, which, as before noticed, was assigned to her as one of her 
dower possessions. 



To her venerable father in Christ and most 
cordial friend Peter, by God's grace bishop of Win- 
chester, Berengaria, by the same grace formerly the 
humble queen of England, wishes health and every 
good thing. 

We send to you our well-beloved Friar Walter, 
of the Cistercian order, the bearer of these presents, 
beseeching you humbly and devotedly, with all the 
humility that we can, that, in reference as well to 
this present feast of All Saints as to other terms 
now past, you will cause us to be satisfied about the 
money due to us according to the composition of our 
dower, which, by your mediation,^ we made with 
our brother John of happy memory, formerly king 
of England. Fare you well ! 

• Charter roll, 17 John, p. 182. 
*» Foedera, vol. k p. 161. 
« Close roll, 5 Henry III. p. 441. 

^ *^ Yobis mediante " in the original. The participle being in the 
singular, although the pronoun is plural. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 33 



LETTER X. 

Queen Berengariay Widow of Richard Cctur de Lion, 
to Henry III. * a.d. 1225. 

, [royal lsttxr no. 391, towxr of LONDON*. Orig. Latin,"] 

To her lord and dearest nephew Henry, by God's 
grace illustrious king of England^ lord of Ireland, 
duke of I^ormandy and Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou, 
Berengaria, by the same grace formerly the humble 
queen of England, wishes health and prosperous 
success to his utmost desires. 

We requested you by our letters patent, sent to 
you by Friar Walter de Persona, our chaplain of the 
Cistercian order, that you would send to us by the 
said Friar Walter and Master Simon, our clerks, 
1000 marks sterling, which you owe us at this feast 
of All Saints, according to the composition of our 
dowry solemnly drawn out between us and you. But 
since the said Master Simon, being detained by sick- 
ness, cannot come over to you, we send in his stead 
our servant Martin, the bearer of these presents, 
earnestly requesting you to send us the thousand 
marks by the said Friar Walter, and by this Martin, 
or by one of them, if by any chance impediment 
both cannot come to you. In testimony of which 
we send you our present letters patent. Given at 
Mans, the Sunday next before the Feast of the 
c2 



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34 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Apostles Simon and Jade/ in the month of October, 
the year of our Lord 1226. 



LETTER XL 

The Nuns of St. Mari/s of Chester to JEleanora^ 

Queen of Henry TIL a.d. 1253. 
[royal lbtter no. 542, tower collection. Orig, Latin,^ 

*ni* The date of this piteous petition is probably about 1253, when 
Queen Eleanora exercised the office of Regent of England. It was 
successfdl in the attainment of its object, for the name of Dame Alicia 
de la Haye occurs in the list of the prioresses of St. Mary's in the 
year 1264, given in Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum.^ That of her 
predecessor. Dame Alicia of Stockport, is not there given. The 
monastery of St. Mary's at Chester, which is supposed to have been 
afterwards merged in this nunnery, was founded before the Norman 
conquest. It is mentioned in Domesday Book,<^ and was standing 
at the time of the dissolution in the reign of King Henry VIII. 
The site was immediately north-west of die castle walls, and, in a lawn 
recently laid out in front of the castle, the pointed arch of a door-way 
is still existing which formed a part of the ancient nunnery. Many 
beautiful fragments of architecture were found in making the late 
alterations, and also many of the bones of die nuns who had slumbered 
for centuries in the dust below.'' 



To the most excellent lady Eleonora, by God's 
grace queen of England, lady of Ireland, duchess of 
Normandy and Aquitaine, countess of Anjou, her 
humble convent of nuns of St. Mary of Chester 

» In 1225 this Sunday would be Oct. 26. 
»» Vol. iv. p. 312. « Vol. i. p. 263. 

Ormerod's History of Cheshire, vol. i. p. 274. 



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ILLUSTBIOUS LADIES. 35 

wishes her, if she pleases, health and happy success 
to her utmost desires. 

When our prioress of happy memory, lady Alicia 
of Stockport, lately went the way of all flesh, we, 
having quickly sent a messenger about it to our 
most excellent lord Henry, by God's grace the illus- 
trious king of England, according to the tenor of 
his benignant reply/ by a special letter of ratification 
sent to you on the morrow of St. Lawrence the Mar- 
tyr's day,** having invoked the aid of the Holy Spirit, 
without any condition or reclamation^ unanimously 
and cordially elected the lady Alicia de la Haye our 
sub-prioress, a woman deserving commendation for 
her life and conduct, as our prioress, all things thereto 
appertaining being canonically observed. Therefore 
it is that, mentally throwing ourselves at the feet 
of your excellency, since bowels of pity and mercy 
grow in you, we humbly and devoutly seek that 
you will deign, by the instinct of Divine compas- 
sion, to confirm the said Alicia as our prioress to 
our miserable convent, amidst its multiplied deso- 
lations. For so greatly are we reduced that we are 
compelled every day to beg abroad our food, slight 
as it is. The very secret places of our aflSicted 
hearts cry out therefore to you, expecting the 



* There seems to be an omission between the words '* de '' and 
'' sni '' in the original, which runs thus : — ** De sni benigni responsi 
per literam specialem de ratihabicione Tobis transmissam/' &,c^ It 
should probably be read ** de tenore/' 

^ August nth. 



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36 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

wished-for effect of our pious petition. Aud we, 
each one of uS; will, as is fitting, and as we for* 
merly did, now in future much more devoutly, offer 
prayers to the Lord for you and yours. May your 
ladyship ever fare well in the Lord ! 



LETTER XIL 



Eleanora Queen-Begent of JEngland^ and Richard 
Earl of Cornwall, to Henry III. a.d. 1254. 

[eotal letter no. 3^96, tower of London. Original Latin.'] 

*^* The following letter possesses much historic interest, as clearly 
developing the views and feelings of the principal classes of the 
subjects of England in the troublous reign of Henry III. It was 
written in February, 1254, when the king was absent on an expedition 
to Gasoony, and after he had concluded a peace with the King of 
Castile by promising the hand of his young son Edward to Alphonso's 
sister, the Infanta Eleanora. Henry endeavoured to keep this treaty 
secret, in hopes of obtaining money to aid in his pretended wars, but 
rumours of it were already abroad, and the conditional manner in 
which the magnates of England promised their aid, if the Cagtilian 
king should attack Henry, shews that they were doubtful of the reality 
of such an attack, and feared that the demand for help was but one of 
the many rwes of their monarch to obtain money to lavish on himself 
and his favourites. They therefore promised assistance by personal 
service rather than by pecuniary grants. This letter also distinctly 
recognises the existence of a large, and independent, and wealthy body 
of English commoners, who, strenuous in the defence of their liberties^ 
ever urged the fulfilment of the Magna Charta, as the sole condition of 
their pecuniary assistance, but who were willing cheerfully to contri- 
bute to the necessities of their sovereign, in case they could maintain 
inviolate this palladium of their rights. The same distrust of the 
king was felt by the clergy, who had been called upon, and had con- 
sented to contribute their quota to a crusade projected by their mon- 
iirch, as a popular pretext for extorting money, without any real inten- 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 37 

ti<m of ever perfomung it. A confidenttal communicsdoD like the 
present proyes that the royal family were fully aware of the itate of 
parties, and that Henry III., by his wilful obstinacy in perserering in 
his infirmgements on the liberties of his subjects, rushed with open eyes 
on his own destruction. The character of Queen Eleanora, as depicted 
in this letter, is that of an affectionate and fiEuthful wife and a clear- 
sighted politic] 



To their most excellent lord, the lord Henry, by 
God's grace the illustriouB king of England, lord 
of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and 
earl of Anjou, his most devoted consort Eleanora, 
by the same grace queen of England, and his 
devoted and faithful Richard earl of Cornwall, 
send health with all reverence and honour. 

Be it known to your revered lordship that the 
lords the earl marshall and John de Bailiol, being 
hindered at sea by a contrary wind during twelve days, 
came to us in England on the Wednesday after the 
.PCirification of Blessed Mary last past/ 

We had been treating with your prelates and 
the magnates of your kingdom of England before 
the advent of the said Earl and John, on the quin- 
zaines of St. Hilary last past^ about your subsidy, 
and after the arrival of the said Earl and John, with 
certain of the aforesaid prelates and magnates, the 
archbishops and bishops answered us that if the 
King of Castile should come against you in Gascony 
each of them would assist you from his own pro- 
perty, so that you would be under perpetual obli- 
gations to them ; but with regard to granting you 

» Feb. 4th. *> Jan. 27th. 



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88 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

an aid from their clergy, they could do nothing 
without the assent of the said clergy ; nor do they 
believe that their clergy can be induced to give 
you any help, unless the tenth of clerical goods 
granted to you for the first year of the crusade, 
which should begin in the present year, might be 
relaxed at once by your letters patent, and the col- 
lection of the said tenth for the said crusade, for the 
two following years, might be put in respite up to 
the term of two years before your passage to the 
Holy Land ; and they will give diligence and treat 
with the clergy submitted to them, to induce them 
to assist you according to that form with a tenth of 
their benefices, in case the King of Castile should 
attack you in Gascony ; but at the departure of the 
bearer of these presents no subsidy had as yet been 
granted by the aforesaid clergy. Moreover, as we 
have elsewhere signified to you, if the King of Cas- 
tile should come against you in Gascony, all the earls 
and barons of your kingdom, who are able to cross 
the sea, will come to you in Gascony, with all their 
power ; but from the other laymen who do not sail 
over to you we do not think that we can obtain any 
help for your use, unless you write to your lieute- 
nants in England firmly to maintain your great 
charters of liberties, and to let this be distinctly 
perceived by your letters to each sheriflF of your 
kingdom, and publicly proclaimed through each 
county of the said kingdom ; since, by this means, 
they would be more strongly animated cheerfully to 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S9 

grant you aid ; for many persons complain that the 
aforesaid charters are not kept by your sheriffs and 
other bailiffs as they ought to be kept. Be it known, 
therefore, to your lordship, that we shall hold a con- 
ference with the aforesaid clergy and laity at West- 
minster, in the quinzaines of Passover next, about 
the aforesaid aid, and we supplicate your lordship 
that you will write us your good pleasure concerning 
these affairs with the utmost possible haste. For 
you will find us prepared and devoted, according 
to our power, to solicit the aforesaid aid for your 
use, and to do and procure all other things . . . .* 
which can contribute to your convenience and the 
increase of your honour. Given at Windsor, the 
13th of February, in the thirty-eighth year of your 
reign. 

Endorsed, ** A certain letter di- 
rected to King Henry by the queen 
his wife, about a certain subsidy for 
the said king, when the king was in * 
Gascony/* 



LETTER XIII. 

Matilda Prioress of the Convent of Barking to 
Henry III. a.d. 1258. 

[&0TAL LBTTB& NO. 526, TOWBR COLLECTION. Original Latin.'] 

*nt* The monastery of Barking, in Essex, was one of the most 
ancient and the most wealthy of the Benedictine establishments for 

* Defisu^ in the original. 



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40 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

female recluses in England. It was founded in the seventh century 
by Erkenwald, then bishop of London ; the foundation charter, dated 
677, bears the crosses of three Saxon monarchs, who attested it by 
their marks, and it is worthy of remark that these royal signatures are 
placed <tfter those, not only of bishops, but of abbots and presbyters, 
thus shewing the superior dignity then attached to the ecclesiastical 
profession. One of its original charters is still presenred, a yenerable 
retic of antiquity, among the Cottonian MSS.* Barking Monastery 
boasted amongst its abbesses several ladies of the Saxon blood royal. 
It is said to have been the residence of William the Conqueror, pre- 
vious to the erection of the Tower of London. Mary sister of Thomas 
a Becket, Maud a natural daughter of Henry II., and Maud a natural 
daughter of King John, are named among its later abbesses. It was 
surrendered in 1539 to Henry VIII., and the abbess with thirty nuns 
were pensioned off. An ancient gateway, over which is the chapel of 
Holyrood, forms now the principal remain of this once magnificent 
abbey.*' 

In the office of the duchy of Lancaster is a curious letter, or rather 
indenture, from a subsequent abbess of Barking,^ dated 1284-5, by 
which permission is graciously granted to one Sir Thomas de Wey- 
lond to have a private service performed by the presbyter in a domestic 
chapel which he himself had erected, whenever he or his wife should be 
present at that service, but not otherwise. His abode being within the 
precincts of the parish, such worship would have been considered 
unlawfiQ without a special permission. 



To her most excellent lord Henry, by God's 
grace illustrious king of England, lord of Ireland, 
duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou, 
Matilda, humble prioress of Barking, and of the 
convent of the same place, wishes health, with due 
reverence and honour, and the suflFrages of her 
prayers. 



*■ Augustus II. number 29, 

^ Dugdale^s Monasticon, vol. i. pp. 437-9. 

<: Original Grants, &c. box v. No. 152. 



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. ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* 41 

Since the lady our mother, venerable for her 
religion, the lady Christina, late abbess of our house, 
did on the Monday next after the Feast of St. An- 
drew the Apostle, in the forty-third year of your 
reign,* of her own good and spontaneous will, yield 
up the government of the said abbey, on account 
of the infirmity and debility of her body, and was 
absolved from it by our venerable father Foulk,** 
bishop of London, we now, being destitute of the 
solace of an abbess, send to you our beloved sisters 
and fellow-nuns, Roesia de Argentes, Joanna de 
Wantham, and Agnes Costentin, humbly and de- 
voutly supplicating that the bowels of your compas- 
sion may be moved towards us, and that the con* 
descension of your mercy will grant us permission 
to elect some other as our abbess, so that henceforth 
you may receive from the highest retributor a worthy 
reward, and we may be henceforth obligated more 
specially to ofier up the merited suflfrages of our 
prayers for you and yours. Given at Barking the 
Tuesday after the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, 
in the forty-third year of your reign.*^ 



This petition was fisiYOurably received, the permission granted, and 
Matilda de Leveland was elected on Friday, the day of St. Luda the 
Virgin (Dec. 13th). It does not appear that Matilda de Leveland was 
the same person who wrote the letter, since, in the epistle which com- 
municates the tidings of the election to the king, the nuns merely say 
that they have elected a fellow-nun, ** commonialemt" and do not 
speak of her as the former prioress. Tower Letter^ No, 527. The 

> Dec. 2d, 1258. . ^ Foulk Basset. * « Dec. 3d, 1258. 



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42 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

name of the former abbess was Christina de Bosdiam, as appears from 
letter No. 525, Tower Collection, 



LETTER XIV. 

Lady Havisia de Neville to her Son, Hugh de 
Neville, a.d. vers. 1268. 

[O&IOINAL GRANTS, ETC. BOX lY. NO. 138 ; OFFICE OF THE DUCHY 

OF LANCASTER. Original French,] 

\* The document now laid before the reader is, perhaps, the 
earliest specimen of a lady's familiar letter in existence, the epistolary 
correspondence which is extant being such as is preserved amongst the 
state archives, usually partaking, more or less, of the nature of state 
documents. A fortunate accident has preserved the present, amongst 
many other records of the Neville fiunily, in the office of the duchy of 
Lancaster. The second husband of Havisia* de Neville, to whom she 
refers as the father-in-law of her son, was Sir John de Gatesden. His 
name occurs several times as a confidential clerk of Henry III.* They 
were married in or before the year 1258, for in that year Havisia is men- 
tioned as his wife in a charter of the abbot and chapter of the order of 
Prsemonstier, granting her a participation in the prayers of that order.^ 
She was a considerable landed proprietor, holding fifteen manors in 
the county of Sussex.*: She and her husband died nearly at the same 
time, in the year 1268.*^ Hugh de Neville was afterwards an adherent 
of the Montfort fiiction,* and it was probably his leaning towards the 
barons' party that, in his absence from home, created the difficulties 
and embarrassments of which his mother complains. 



Havisia de Neville to her very dear son, Hugh 
de Neville, wishes health and the blessing of God 
and her own. 

» Foedera, vol. i. pp. 218, 219, 343. 

^ Box A, art. 44, Duchy of Lancaster's Office. 

< Calend. inquis. post mortem, p. 43. ' Ibid. p. 32. 

• Calend. patent VoUs, 50 Henry III. p. 38. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 43 

Know, dear son^ that I am well and hearty/ 
thanks to Grod, and am much rejoiced at the 
news that William Fitz Simon brought me of 
your health. God be thanked for it! Know, 
dear son, that our ne/cessities of receiving the 
returns from your lands can avail nothing, on ac- 
count of the great rule your adversary has in the 
king's court, unless you yourself were present. 
Wherefore your father-in-law and I, and all your 
other friends, agree that you should come to Eng- 
land, and we pray and entreat you,' by the faith and 
love that you owe us, that you will not by any means 
fail in this ; since you ought once again to return. 
For we know well that it would be a very great 
dishonour, and we consider it a great sin, to suffer 
us and ours to be disinherited by your indolence. 
Therefore I anxiously pray you, dear son, that you 
will travel with all possible haste, and also, accord- 
ing to the counsel of all your friends, that you go 
to the court of Rome, and procure if you can the 
letter of the pope, express and stringent, to the king 
of England, that he should restore your lands, and 
have them restored. And that you may make a 
proper understanding at the court of all our needs, 
without omitting or concealing anything; that is, 
how you are placed with the king, and that you are 
compelled by a writing to hold the (obligation),* 
without contradiction and without ever making an 

* The word obligation is conjectural : there is an erident omission 
in the original. 



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44 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

acquisition to the contrary. For wise persons have 
said the acquisition would be worth nothing, unless 
it made express mention of this, that it was through 
no fault of yours that you made this the aforesaid 
obligation when in war, and through fear of prison* 
And know, good son, that the first acquisition you 
got at Rome for our lands was not such as you 
understood, for it was only a loving petition for 
your rights of the money which you ought to have 
had of the crusade allowance. The legate, thanks 
to him, has granted us that he would let us have it 
if we could espy out where it is, but we have not as 
yet found any, except what is in the hands of such as 
themselves would wish to go into the Holy Land ; but 
as much as we may be able to acquire, now or hence- 
forth, between this and St. John's day, we will then 
send you by the messengers of the Temple, who will 
bring their own money. And for God's sake, good 
son, guard against making such an obligation as you 
have made for Sir Ingelram de Umfranville ; for I 
was grieved that it was proper to have it paid from 
our own demesne. And good, sweet, dear son, X 
anxiously pray you that you will send us word how 
much money you have really had by my command, 
for the thing is not in my power, for I could never 
spy a man who went to that part, that I might 
send you letters, which weighs no little upon me. 
For if it could be that I could often have good news 
of you, and comfort you again often by my messages, 
there would be nothing that could more rejoice me. 



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ILLUSTBIOUS LADIES. 45 

except it were to see and speak to you. And know, 
dear son, that my heart is grieved and alarmed day 
and night, since William Fitz Simon brought me 
news that you were so poorly provided with money ; 
but God who is Almighty, if it please him, give you 
speedy amendment, and I will do it to my utmost 
power. Dear son, I pray you not to trust too much 
to the money of the crusade allowance, for they say 
that more great lords of England will take the 
cross ; and they will take away as much as shall be 
raised for the crusade, as certain friends have given 
me to know. But do not ever cease, as you dearly 
love me, for no waiting for money, to borrow all the 
money that you can, and to go to the court of Rome 
to acquire for our necessities, and to hasten to come 
to England io accomplish our needs. For I hope, 
by the help of God, if you could well accomplish 
what you have to do about the acquisition of our lands, 
that you will see such change* in England, that 
never in our time could you have better accom- 
plished your wish, or more to your honour. Where- 
fore cease not to solicit again about your coming, 
since you can here best serve God. I con^mend you 
to the true body of God, who give you life and 
health. Sir Walter de la Hide, Joanna your sister, 
and all our household, salute you. And know, dear 
son, that my counsel is that you obtain the letters of 
request of the legate of that country, and the letters 
of the master of the Temple and of the Hospital, 

* Mut in orig. 



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46 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

to the legate of England and to other rich men, for 
your needs, and in testimony of your deeds in that 
country on the occasion of your coming. And ever 
take care of your house that you have there, if God 
give you courage to return. 

To Sir Hugh de Neville. 

Endorsed in Latin, in a later 
hand, " The letter of the Lady 
Havisia de Neville, directed to the 
Lord Hugh her son, being in the 
Holy Land/' 



LETTER XV. 



Eleanor a Queen of Edward /., to Robert Burnell^ 
Lord Chancellor. 

[royal letter no. 1111, TOWER OF LONDON. Original Latin,'] 

*^* The following is the only original letter of Queen Eleanora 
of Castile known to be in existence. Unlike her enterprising mother- 
in-law, Ihis gentle queen seems to have lived only in and for her 
husband and children ; and, although several joint epistles of herself and 
the king are eztant,her individual correspondence appears to have been 
smaU, and, from her own testimony in the letter itself, to have been 
usually on behalf of her friends. The Lady Constance here named 
was probably the widow of Henry of Germany, cousin of Edward I., 
one of whose letters immediately follows. The date of the present 
epistle will be between 1274, when Eleanora of Castile first landed in 
England as queen, and 1279, when, on the death of her mother, the 
Countess-queen Joanna, she assumed the title of Countess of Guienne 
and Pouthien, which in the letter she does not use. Robert Bumdl, 
archdeacon of York, to whom it is addressed, was chancellor from 
1274 to 1292. Previously to his elevation to that dignity he had been 



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ILLUSTBIOUS LADIES. 4? 

the secretarjr and confidential dark of Edward I.,* a fkct whidiaocoiinti 
for the free and affectionate ityle in which the qneen addreasea him. 



Eleanora, by God's grace qaeen of England, 
lady of Ireland, and duchess of AquitainCi to lord 
Robert Bumell, sends loving greeting. 

We require and affectionately entreat you to give 
counsel and assistance to this affair, that the trans- 
gression injuriously committed against the bearer of 
these presents, the servant of the lady Constance our 
cousin, which Master John Clarell will shew you, 
may be reasonably redressed. For the confidence 
which we have in your benevolence is the cause why 
we so often direct to you our prayers on behalf of our 
friends. And do you for love of us give such dili- 
gence in this affair, that we may henceforth be 
bound to you by special favour. Given at Guildford, 
xiiij day of October. 



LETTER XVI. 



Constance Widow of Henry of Germany ^ the Nephew 
of Henry III.^ to Edward L a.d. vers. 1279. 

[noTAL LBTTB& NO. 1454, TOWB& OF LONDON. Original Latin,"] 

*#* Hie writer of the foUowing letter was the eldest daughter of 
the celebrated Gaston VII., viscount of Beam, whose troublesome 
opposition to the English power in Gascony was a source of perpetual 
annoyance during the reign of Henry III. Though repeatedly con- 

* See Catalogue of Lords Chancellors, &c., by T. Duffus Hardy, 
Esq., p. 12, note 1. 



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48 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

queredy and even taken captive, Gaston always contrived to escape 
unhurt, on account of the partiality entertained by King Henry for 
his wife ; who, in spite of her great corpulence, and other unfavour- 
able personal peculiarities, which are described with quaint oddity by 
Matthew Paris, possessed a powerful influence over the English king. 
The first husband of Constance was Alfonso, son of James I., of 
Aragon, on whose decease she married Henry, eldest son of Richard, 
king of Germany, and consequentiy grandson of King John.* As Con- 
stance was an eldest daughter, and without brothers, the English prince 
probably hoped to inherit through her the viscounty of Beam, but a 
premature and shocking death put an end to his aspiring wishes. On 
his return home, after having visited the Holy Land in company with 
his cousin Prince Edward, while passing through the town of Viterbo, 
in Italy, he was cruelly murdered in cold blood by two of the sons of 
Simon de Montfort, then exiles in Italy. This atrocious crime was 
committed in revenge for the sufferings which the Montfort fieunilyhad 
endured in the death of their father and eldest brother, and their own 
banishment ; but it was as unjust as it was unmercifcd, for Henry had 
had no share in their punishment. His desertion in 1263 from the 
cause of the barons, to which at one time he had allied himself, was 
probably the real cause of their exasperation against him.'' 

Constance, left a widow a second time, had, it would seem, returned 
to her own country. What were the circumstances that had created 
the coldness between her and King Edward, of which she complains, 
does not appear, unless it were occasioned by her reluctance to form a 
new matrimonial engagement, into which it was the king's wish she 
should enter. 

The letter No. 1456, in the Tower collection, is from Graston de 
Beam to Edward I., promising, according to the king* 8 request, to 
marry his eldest daughter, widow of Henry of Germany, to Aymon 
count of Greneva, and eamestiy requesting that the arrears of dower 
due to her from England might be sent by her clerk, master 
William R.*, now in that country on her business, that in her ap- 
proaching departure from Gascony ; she may use the money to fiirther 

• L*Art de verifier les Dates, vol. ix. p. 263. 

^ Trivel's Annals, p. 16. For a detailed account of this tra- 
gedy, see a letter from Philip of France to Richard king of Germany, 
in the "liber de Antiquis legibus," Harleian MS. 690, fol. 142. 
ViUani, Hist. Flor. Muratori's Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. 
ziii. col. 261 ; and Gebauer's Leben des Kaiser Richards, p. 274. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* 49 

ber own affain ; but thii marriage is not recorded to have really 
taken place.* 



To the most serene prince, and, if it please him, 
her dearest lord, Edward, by God's grace king of 
England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aqiiitaine, 
his humble and devoted Constance, relict of the late 
noble man Henry of Germany, wishes health, and 
commends herself with devoted obsequiousness and 
honour. 

Be it known to your excellency, that for some 
time last past I have not dared, through fear of you^ 
to write to your highness, nor to signify anything to 
you, whereof of good cause I grieved, and was beyond 
measure distressed at heart. But now, by the leave 
and counsel of the Lord Bishop of Bath, and Lord 
Otho de Grandison, I have dared to write to you, 
which gives me all possible joy, supplicating your 
royal majesty that you will deign diligently to 
search out and inquire the truth from the said lord 
bishop and Sir Otho concerning my estate, and about 
all things which have hitherto been done and at* 
tempted about me; for they, if they choose, can for 
the most part certify you as to the premises. Yet I 
much desire, and long above all things, that I 
could speak face to face with your highness about 
my estate and other things concerning me. Where- 
fore I pray your lordship, as affectionately and 

* This letter is endorsed 7 Edward I., or 1279, which thus affords 
a clue to the date of the one here given. 

VOL. I. D 



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5Q LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

humbly as I can, by that dear love which by your 
favour you were wont to bear me, and still bear 
as I hope, that if it would please you that I might 
come to your highness, you will command my lord 
and father, when he shall be in England, to send for 
me by his letters. And I believe he will do it wil- 
lingly, if you will command or advise it. Please it 
your highness to give credence to our dear and 
trusty clerk, Master William R., of Miremont, the 
present bearer, in reference to the premises and all 
other things which he will say to you on our behalf. 
May the Most High long preserve your person and 
dominions, and give you increase of favour and 
honour ! 

To the iUvLstrious King of England. 



LETTER XVII. 



EUanora Queen-Dowager of England to her Son^ 
Edward I. a.d, vers. 1279. 

[royal letter no. 1104, tower of LONDON. Oriffinal FrenchJ] 

Eleanora, by God's grace queen of England, to 
our dear son Edward, by the same grace king of 
England, health and our blessing. 

Know, sweet son, that we have understood that a 
marriage is in agitation between the son of the King 
of Sicily and the daughter of the King of Germany ; 
and, if this alliance is made, we may well be disturbed 
in the right that we have to the fourth part of Pro- 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 51 

vence, which thiug would be great damage to us, and 
this damage would be both ours and yours. Where- 
fore we pray and require you, that you will specially 
write to the aforesaid king, that since Provence is 
held from the empire, and his dignity demands that he 
should have right done to us about it, he will regard 
the right that we have, and cause us to hold it. Of 
this thing we especially require you, and we com- 
mend you to God. 

The King of Sicily here alluded to is Charles of Anjou, whose 
first wife, Beatrix of Provence, was the sister of and coheiress with 
Queen Eleanora. The apprehensions of the queen for her Froyen9al 
rights' arose from the fear that the German emperor would try to pro- 
cure more than a due share for the Sicilian prince, if he became his 
son-in-law. Either from the opposition of Queen Eleanora, however, 
or some other cause, this deprecated marriage never took place. It 
was probably upon the business mentioned in this letter that Ed- 
ward I. wrote to Rodolph of Hapsburg, requesting him to fiicilitate the 
business of his mother in Provence, assuring him that her concerns are 
as dear to him as his own, and urging him to expedite the affair. His 
letter is dated the 3rd of April, 1279. The queen had evidently some 
trouble in guarding her remote possessions from the encroachments of 
her sisters, for she wrote another letter to Edward about ** my lady of 
France, our sister'' (Queen Margaret), who was trespassing upon 
some part of Provence. 



LETTER XVIII. 

JEleanara Princess of Wales to her Cousin^ King 
Edward L a.d. vers, 1279. 

[royal letter no. 1333, tower of london. Original Latin,"] 

\* Eleanora princess of Wales, the writer of the two following 
letters, was the daughter of the celebrated Simon de Montfort, the rebel 



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52 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

hero of England of the thirteenth centuryt hy the Princess Eleanora, 
youngest daughter of King John. She was horn ahout Michaefanas, 
1252, at a time when her father was ahsent on the king's service in 
Gascony. The place of her nativity was the venerable castle of Kenil- 
worth, which, then in the pride of baronial strength and splendour^ 
had been assigned to her mother as a residence by King Henry III.* 
A nurse, called the Lady Alice, was sent from court to usher into the 
world this scion of royalty, and Queen Eleanora of Provence gave a 
present of 40». (equal to 30/. of our present money) to Peter, the barber 
of the Earl of Montfort, who was despatched to convey the tidings of 
her birth.^ Adam de Marisco, the chaplain of the Countess Eleanora, 
wrote her a congratulatory note upon the birth of the infant, expressive 
of thankfulness to God '^ who had had respect to her prayers, and 
not despised her devotion, granting her freedom from perils and anxie- 
ties, and the joy of a numerous and promising offspring. "<^ 

The education of the young Eleanora seems to have been superin- 
tended by Marisco and her father's friend and companion, Robert 
Grostete, the learned bishop of Lincoln. In the very interesting 
wardrobe account of the Countess of Montfort for the year 1265, 
recently edited for the Bannatyne Club by T. Hudson Turner, Esq.,<^ a 
notice occurs of a pocket-breviary for the ** Demoiselle de Montfort," 
an indirect proof that the young lady possessed the rare accomplish- 
ment of reading. The same document mentions her sending letters to 
her cousin. Prince Edward ; ® but very different must have been the 
epistles written to her captive cousin by the youthful daughter of the 
proud De Montfort, who then held the royal family of England in his 

* Patent roll, 28th of Henry III., membrane 8. 

^ Rotulus nunciorum Reginae Eleanone, No. 370, Queen's Remem- 
brancer Office. This roll forms one of a complete series of curious and 
interesting rolls, containing the entire expenditure of Queen Eleanora 
during the years 1252 and 1253 ; probably the earliest documents of 
the kind in existence relative to female royalty. 

^ Epistolie Adamide Marisco, Cottonian MS. Vitellius, C. VlII., 
fol. 57. These curious and valuable letters are amongst the most 
interesting of the yet inedited documents of the period, both as re- 
gards historical and domestic particulars. 

<i In a volume entitled Manners and Customs of England in the 
thirteenth and fifteenth Centuries, presented to the society by Beriah 
Botfield, Esq. 

• Page 27. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 53 

own hancU, and ruled witli all but sorereign sway, from those which we 
heie presented to the reader, written when their mutual relations were 
so completely reversed. 

During the time of her fieithef's prosperity Eleanora had been 
plighted to Llewelyn prince of Wales, and such was the constancy of 
his affection for her, that, after the overthrow of the Montfort fitction 
and the banishment of the whole family from England, he still chose to 
claim the orphan exile for his bride, and sent to France, whither she 
had retired, to demand the fulfilment of their early trotii. After the 
marriage had been performed by proxy, in 1276, the bride, attended by 
her brother Amalric de Montfort, set sail for Wales.* But long con- 
tinued jealousies had subsisted between Edward L and Llewelyn. The 
king heard of the projected voyage of Eleanora, and her vessels were 
stopped and seized off the Scilly Islands by some merchant-vessels of 
Bristol. This seizure has been generally represented as a private act, 
unwarranted by royal authority, but Bartholomew of Norwich, one of 
the most authentic contemporaneous chroniclers, affirms that it was 
done by the king's commission,** and his assertion is borne out by the 
fact that Edward gave 200 marks to the crews of tiie vessels who had 
captured the bride.* 

Eleanora was detained upwards of two years in the castle of 
Windsor, in spite of the earnest remonstrances of Llewelyn, until 
Edward I. had extorted from the impatient bridegroom such terms as 
he chose to dictate ; which were, that he should hold the mountain- 
land, for the liberty of which his forefathers had bravely fought and 
nobly died, as a fief of the English crown, and should relinquish 
actual possession of a large portion of it.<^ It was only by swearing 
an oath which, as it rang through the Welsh mountains, thrilled 
the heart of every son of Cambria with patriotic sorrow, and woke 
up the spirit of its bards to strains of enthusiastic indignation and 
passionate bewailing, that the ill>omened nuptials of Llewelyn and 
Eleanora were concluded. They were married at Worcester on the 
13th of October, 1278, the king and queen gracing tiie bridal with 
their presence.® The wardrobe-book of the year contains entries of 

• Chron. Ickham, Harl. MS. 4323, fol. 61. Cotton. MS. Ves- 

, E. II. fol. 65 b. 
»» Cotton. MS. Nero, C. V. fol. 251 b. 
« liberate roll, 4th of Edward I., membrane 3. 
^ Triveti Annales, pp. 250, 251. 
« Chron. Aberoonwey, Harl. MS. 3785, fol. 49. Chron. Petrob. 



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54 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

payments for a coverchief purchased for the Princess of Wales, and of 
rewards given to a messenger for bringing to the king four hounds, and 
to the queen two hares, as a present from Llewelyn.* In the liberate 
roll is an order of payment for the conveyance of the luggage of 
** Eleanora, wife of our beloved and faithful Llewelyn, prince of 
Wales," on her journey from Worcester towards Whitchurch."* 

The good understanding between the king and prince was not of 
long continuance, the indignant spirits of the Welsh constantly inciting 
their prince to break the terms of a treaty so dishonourable. The 
manner in which the gentle Eleanora strove to mediate between the 
contending feustions, and to soothe the ruffled spirit of her irritated 
relative, Edward I., is displayed in the following epistle, penned pro- 
bably in the year 1279. 



To her excellent lord and well-beloved cousin, 
the Lord Edward, by the grace of God king of 
England, lord of Ireland, and dake of Aquitaine, 
his devoted cousin Eleonora, princess of Wales, 
lady of Snowdon, with such sincere affection as 
becometh, sends health to so great and so near a 
kinsman. 

Be it known to your excellency, that we desire 
to hear good and prosperous news concerning your 
state and condition : therefore we entreat your ex- 
cellency, humbly and earnestly, for our love's sake, 
that you deign to make known to us, as your humble 
cousin, and one ready to do your good pleasures, 
your state ; and whether you wish any thing within 

Addit. MS. 6913, fol. 239. Cotton. MSS. Vesp. A. 11. fol. 66; 
Nero, D. fol. 231 b. col. 3. 

• Wardrobe book of the 6th of Edward I., MisceUaneons roll» 
No. 44, in the Tower of London. 

^ liberate roll, 6th of Edward I., membrane !• 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 65 

our power which may redound to your honour^ or 
may please your majesty. 

Although, as we have heard, the contrary hereto 
hath been reported of us to your excellency by some; 
and we believe, notwithstanding, that you in no wise 
give credit to any who report unfavourably concern* 
ing our lord and ourself, until you learn from our- 
selves if such speeches contain truth : because you 
shewed, of your grace, so much honour and so 
much friendliness to our lord and ourself, when you 
were at the last time at Worcester. 

Wherefore, whatever you shall demand from us 
in this, or other matters that you wish, we shall ever 
be ready, according to our ability, to execute and 
accomplish. 

Given at Llanmaes, the 8th day of July. 



LETTER XIX. 

Ekanora Princess of Wales to her Cousin^ King 
Edward I. a.d. 1280; 

[EOTAL LBTTBRS, temp. BDWARD I., TOWER OF LONDON.* 

Original Latin,'] 

\* It has previously been noted that Amalric de Montfort, the 
brother and g^oardian of Eleanora, was taken captive with her in 1276. 

* The letters of this period are yet nncalendared,* and therefore 
the number cannot be given. 



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56 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Long after her release and marriage he still lingered in close imprison- 
ment. In 1280 some movements were made for his relief , which in 
the following year proved successfal through the mediation of Pope 
Martin I., who interfered warmly in the matter, Amalric being a son 
of the diorch.* The anxiety felt by Eleanora on his behalf was 
intense, and the earnest eloquence of her sisterly pleadings in the fol- 
lowing letter need no conmient. The unfortunate princess of Wales 
sonriyed the release of her brother little more than a year. Worn 
with early sorrow, she died on the 2l8t of June, 1282, in giving birth 
to an infant daughter, i* Her early death saved her the pangs of wit- 
nessing the disastrous termination of the contests with England, when 
the head of Llewelyn, the last prince of Wales, her faithful and devoted 
husband, was sent to blacken on |^e walls of the Tower of London — a 
fearful monument of the vengeful wrath of his mighty antagonist. 
The romantic history of this lovely and ill-fated lady, as fsur as it may 
be dimly traced amidst the records of the far past, affords a fitting 
illustration of the proverb that ^* Truth is oftentimes strange — 
stranger than fiction.'' 



To the most excellent prince, and also her very 
dear cousin, the Lord Edward, by the grace of 
God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of 
Aquitaine, his devoted Eleonora, princess of Wales, 
lady of Snowdon, sends health, with such sincere 
affection as becometh to so great a lord and so near 
a kinsman. 

We make it known to your excellency by these 
presents, that we, blessed be God, enjoy good health 
and prosperity ; which same we not only desire, but 
long to learn, concerning yourself. 

* He was released about the feast of St. Cuthbert, March 20th. 
Chron. Wikes* Gale's Scriptores, vol. U. p. 110* 

^ Chron. fiarthol. Norwich. Cotton. MS. Nero, C. V. f(A. 203 fa. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 57 

And whereas it has been reported to us bj some 
that you propose to have it debated, in the present 
parliament, touching the relieving the condition of 
our very dear brother, the Lord Amalric, therefore, 
with clasped hands, and with bended knees and 
tearful groanings, we supplicate your majesty that, 
reverencing from your inmost soul the Divine mercy 
(which holds out the hand of pity to all, especially 
to those who seek Him with their whole heart), yoo 
would deign mercifully to jbake again to your grace 
and favour our aforesaid brother and your kins- 
man, who humbly crave th, as we understand, your 
kindness. 

For if your excellency, as we have often known, 
mercifully condescends to strangers, with much 
more reason, as we think, ought you to hold out the 
hand of pity to one so near to you by the ties of 
nature. 

May you long fare well in the Lord ! 

Given at Saint Anneir, on the feast of Saint 
Luke the Evangelist/ 

Endonedy ** It was answered to her Uiat the 
affair was treated of in that parliament, and that 
what could be done has been done, and it is be* 
Heved that the liberation of her brother has been 
greatly forwarded by that which has been said/' 



» October 18th. 
D 2 



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58 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER XX. 

Eleanora Queen-Dowager of England to her Son, 

Edward I, 
[rotal letter no. 1411, TOWER OF LONDON. Original French,'] 

\* It is well known that Eleanora of Provence, after half a cen- 
tury of active life as the wife or widow of Henry III., retired to end 
her days, some of which had heen chequered and sorrowful ones, in 
tiie nunnery of Amesbury, a branch of the gnat foreign convent of 
Fontevraud. Her profession took place in July, 1286,* after a fare- 
well visit which she had paid to her relations on the Continent.** A 
contemporaneous chronicler gives an interesting account of her conven- 
tual habits. He tells us that ** she filled her hands with good works ; 
that she spent her whole time in orisons, vigils, and works of piety; 
that she was a mother to the neighbouring poor, especially to the orphan 
widows and monks ; and that her praise ought to resound above that of 
all other women.<^ Besides other large charities, she distributed every 
Friday 5/. in silver — a large sum in those days — ^to the neighbouring 
poor. ' ' ^ When she exchanged the crown for the veil — ^the proud title of 
Queen of England for that touchingly simple one of ** humble nun of 
Fontevraud," Eleanora seems indeed to have laid aside the *^ pomps and 
vanities" of the world, and to have devoted herself, with the zealous 
energy that characterised her ardent temperament, to works of religion. 
The present letter is in favour of the abbess of Fontevraud, who 
naturally looked for and found a powerful advocate in her royal* vota- 
ress. The subsequent one appeals too forcibly to the feelings of 
domestic life to need comment. They were both written between 
1286 and 1291, the year of Eleanora's death. Much of the corre- 
spondence of this queen, scattered over many years, still remains in the 
Tower of London, of which a small portion only has been printed in 

• Chron. Rishang. Cotton. MS. Claudius, E. III. fol. 322, col. 2. 
Annales Cuculenti, Cotton. MS. Nero, D. II. fol. 182; Chron. 
John Oxford, ibid., fol. 238, col. 1. 

"» Cott. MS. Vesp. A. II. fol. 69; Wardrobe book, 14 Edw. I., 
fol. 12. Miscel. roll. No. 66, Tower of London.! 

« Chron. Anon. Royal MS. 13, E. VI. fol. 64, col. 2. 

^ Chron. Lanercost., Harl. MS. 96, fol. 139 b. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 6^ 

the Foedera. Her letters are principally written in Norman French, 
which was almost the native langnage of this Provencal queen. 



To the most noble prince and our dearest son, 
Edward, by God's grace king of England, lord of 
Ireland, and duke of Guienne, Eleanora, hoxnble 
nun of the order of Fontevraud of the convent of 
Amesbury, health and our blessing. 

Sweetest son, our abbess of Fontevraud has prayed 
us that we would entreat the King of Sicily to guard 
and preserve the franchises of her house, which some 
people wish to damage. And, because we know well 
that he will do much more for your prayer than for 
ours, for you have better deserved it, we pray you, good 
son^ that for love of us you will request and especi-^ 
ally require this thing from him ; and that he would 
command that the things which the abbess holds 
in his lordship may be in his protection and guard, 
and that neither she nor hers may be molested or 
grieved. Good son, if it please you, command that 
the billet be hastily delivered. We wish you health 
in the sweet Jesus, to whom we commend you. 



LETTER XXI. 

Eleanora Queen-Dowager of England to her Son^ 

Edward I. 

[oKioiNAt LETTBtt NO. 1106, TowEtt OF LONDON. French,"] 

To the most noble prince and her very dear son, 

Edward, by God's grace king of England, lord of 



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60 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, £leanora, humble 
nun of the order of Fontevraud, of the convent of 
Amesbury, wishes health and her blessing. 

Sweetest son, we know well how great is the desire 
that a mother has to see her child when she has been 
long away from him, and that dame Margaret de 
Nevile, companion of Master John Giffard, has not 
seen for a long time past her child, who is in the 
keeping of dame Margaret de Weyland, and has a 
great desire to see him. We pray you, sweetest son, 
that you will command and pray the aforesaid 
Margaret de Weyland, that she will suffer that the 
mother may have the solace of her child for some 
time, after her desire. Dearest son, we commend you 
to God. Given at Amesbury, the 4th day of March. 



LETTER XXII. 

Mary Daughter of Edward /., a Nun at Amesbury ^ 
to her Brother Edward II. a.d. vers. 1316, 

[royal letters temp. EDWARD II., TOWER COLLECTION. 

Original Freneh."] 

*ji5* Of the nun-princess, Mary, the accounts preserved by the 
chroniclers are very brief. They merely tell us that she was bom on 
the 11th of March, 1278, and that in 1284 she took the veil in the 
nunnery of Amesbury, in Wiltshire, a cell to the great foreign abbey of 
Fontevraud. Many curious and interesting particulars respecting her 
are, however, to be found in the wardrobe accounts of tlie period. 
From these we gather very different ideas of conventual life in the thir- 
teenth century from those that we are wont to form of it in the nineteenth. 
Poring the earlier jwn of her profesaioii, Mary was under tb« gover* 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 61 

nanoe of her grandmotlier, Qoeen Eleanora of ProTence, who entered 
the convent in 1286, but as she advanced in jean ahe was by no 
means confined within the walls of the cloister. She paid frequent 
visits to the courts of her father and brotiier ; she went on pilgrimages 
to tbe most fiunous shrines ;* nay, when the state of her health required 
it, she was even permitted to change her residence for the sake of the 
air. On two occasions she took upon herself a singular office for a 
veiled lady — she attended her step-motiier Queen Margaret during her 
confinement of her second son Edmund of Woodstock, and afterwards 
accompanied the royal mother on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving. A 
few years afterwards she performed the same good office for her niece, 
Elizabeth de Burgh. In the affairs of the convent Mary took an 
active part ; though she never aspired to the rank of prioress, she was 
invested with power to visit all the establishments of the same order in 
England, and to administer discipline, reproof, or correction, as she 
thought fit.** She closed a life of unwearied activity about the year 
1333, having survived by some years the whole of her family. The 
following letter was written to her brother, Edward II., about the 
election of a prioress of Amesbury. The nuns were always anxious to 
secure one of their own convent as tiieir superior, while tbe abbess of 
Fontevraud, with whom the choice rested, frequently imposed upon 
them a prioress from the parent abbey. Her ** cousin the abbess,'' of 
whom Mary speaks, was Eleanor of Bretagne, grand-daughter of 
Henry III., by his daughter Beatrice, who had been educated at 
Amesbury, and subsequently became abbess of Fontevraud. The 
letter is undated, but, from its being written at Swainton, it was pro- 
bably penned subsequently to 1315, when that manor became the pro- 
perty of the princess in exchange for that of Cosham, in Wiltshire, and 
before the year 1317, when Eleanor of Bretagne ceased to be abbess of 
Fontevraud.^ 



To the very high and noble prince, her very 
dear lord and brother, my lord Edward, by the grace 
of God king of England, his sister Mary sends 
health and all manner of honour and reverence. 

* Wardrobe book, 34 Edward I., Queen's Remembrancer Office. 
^ Close roll, 10 Edward II. » pt. ii. m. 7, in dorse, 
c IWd. 



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62 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

Very dear sire^ as a long time has passed since God 
did his will upon our prioress Dambert, we imme- 
diately after her death sent to our very dear cousin, 
the lady-abbess of Fontevraud, both on my part 
and on that of the convent, asking for a lady from 
this our convent, to wit, for the Lady Isabella, whom 
we understand to be well able and sufficient for the 
office, that she might be granted to us for our 
prioress. And we thought, dear sire, that she (the 
abbess) would have willingly granted us our re- 
quest, for she is bound to do so since she was 
brought up and veiled amongst us, and so she should 
neither wish nor permit that the church should be 
so long without prelates ; but as yet we have had 
no answer, only we understand from certain people 
that she intends to send us a prioress from beyond 
the sea there, and a prior by her counsel out 
there. And know, certainly, my very dear brother, 
that should she send any other than one belonging to 
our own convent, it would prove matter of discord 
in the convent, and of the destruction of the goods 
of the church, which I know well, sire, that you 
would not suffer willingly and wittingly ; wherefore 
I pray you, dearest lord and brother, and require 
you, both for the love of me and' of our convent, 
which after God trust surely in you, that you would 
please to send word to my said lady-abbess, that she 
do not undertake to burden our church with any 
prioress out of the convent, nor with prior other 
than the one we have now, but that she would 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* 6S 

grant us her whom we have requested. Do this, 
most dearest brother, that our convent may receive 
your aid and sustenance in this case as they have 
always done in their needs. May Jesus Christ give 
you a long life, my dearest brother. Written at 
Swainton, in the Isle of Wight, the 9th day of 
May. 



LETTER XXIII. 

Isabella Queen- Dowager of England to her Nephew, 
the Earl of Hereford, a.d. vers. 1328. 

[OKIOINAL GRANTS, BTC, BOX IX. NO. 342, OFFICE OF THE DUCHY 

OF LANCASTER. Original French.'] 

\* The letter now presented to the reader has in the original 
neitiier 8ig;nature nor address. The contents shew it to have been 
from a queen-mother of England, and that it was from Isabella of 
France, mother of Edward III., is proved by the following circum- 
stances of internal evidence. The handwriting is that of the early 
part of the fourteenth century. It is dated from Nottingham, one of 
her favourite residences, and, what is perhaps the most decisive point, 
in a small fragment of the seal a fleur-de-lis is traceable ; and since that 
emblem of French royalty had not as yet been adopted into the English 
escutcheon, the arms must have been those of a princess of France. 
The supposition that it was addressed to John de Bohun, earl of 
Hereford, is grounded on the ftuct that he was the only nephew of 
Edward II. who took a prominent part in English affairs at this 
time. He held the high office of lord high-constable of England 
This conjecture is greatly strengthened by the circumstance of this 
letter having found its way into the office of the duchy of Lancaster, 
since, from the subsequent marriage of Henry of Lancaster with the 
heiress of the Bohuns, a large number of the original documents of 
that family are there preserved. The date must have been between. 



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64 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

1327| the date of the murder of Edward II., and 1330, when a 
period was finally put to Isabella's active influence in England. There 
are only two other original letters of Queen Isabella now known to 
be in existence, neither of which is of particular interest.* 



Most dear and beloved nephew, 

We have well understood what you have sent us 
word by your letters ; and, as to our estate, we give 
you to [know that we are even in great trouble of 
heart, but, considering the condition we are in, we 
were in good health of body at the setting forth of 
these letters, which our Lord ever grant to you. 
Dearest nephew, we pray you that you will leave off 
all excuses, and come to the king our son in the best 
manner you can, and as he commands you more fully 
by his letters. For you well know, dearest nephew, 
if you come not, considering the necessity that now 
exists, it will be greatly talked of, and will be 
a great dishonour to you. Wherefore make an 
effort to come at this time as hastily as you can, 
and you know well, dearest nephew, that we shall 
ever be ready to counsel you as well as we can in 
all things that shall be to your honour and profit. 
Most dear and beloved nephew, our Lord have you 
in his keeping. Given at Nottingham, the 10th day 
of October. 

Endorsed, " To come to the King." 



* Unsorted letters, Tower of London. One is the original of a 
letter patent. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 65 



LETTER XXIV. 

Philippa of Hainaulty Queen of Edward III.^ to Sir 
John de Edington^ her Attorney, a.d. 1354. 

[madox collectanea, addit. MS. 4500, ART. 55, FOL. 178. Frtnch. 

FROM PLACITA CORAM BARONIBUS, 28 EDW. III. ROT. 95 a.] 

*,^* During the reign of Edward III. and his successor, Richard II., 
there are fewer relics of epistolary correspondence than in the 
periods preceding or following. Notwithstanding the brilliant part 
taken by Queen Philippa in the warlike achievements of her lord, 
and the prominent station she so long held, we have not been able to 
find any other specimen of her correspondence than the epistle 
here given. Brief as it is, however, it shews the same kindly genero- 
sity of heart which has rendered the name of Philippa of Hainault 
immortal as the saviour of the devoted victims of Calais. A number 
of writs having been issued against those who were, indebted to the 
queen, probably for the payment of aurum regiiUB, or queen's gold, 
she urges that her conscience will not allow of their being executed 
until she and her council have had time to examine into the ability of 
the delinquents to satisfy her demands. A rare instance, indeed, of 
queenly moderation I In a memorandum appended to this letter it is 
noted that it was presented before the barons on the 20th of May. 



Philippa, by the grace of God queen of Eng- 
land, lady of Ireland, and duchess of Aquitaine, to 
our dear clerk Sir John de Edington, our attorney 
in the exchequer of our very dear lord the king, 
sends greeting. 

We command you, that you cause all the writs 
which have been filed from the search lately made 
by Sir Richard de Cressevill to be postponed until 
the octaves of Easter next ensuing ; to the end that, 
in the meantime, we and our council may be able to 



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66 LETTERS OF ROYAL A^D 

be advised which of the said writs are to be put in 
execution for our profit, and which of them are to 
cease to the relief of our people, to save our con- 
science. And we will that this letter be your war- 
' rant therefore. 

Given under our privy seal, at Westminster, the 
14th day of May, in the year of the reign of our 
very dear lord the king of England the twenty- 
eighth. 



LETTER XXV. 



Constance, Wife of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, 
to the Chancellor of England, 

[state papers, temp. rich. II. y TOWER OF LONDON. 

Oriffinal French,'] 

\* The Duchess Constance was the eldest daughter of Peter the 
Cruel, king of Castile, upon whose decease, without issue male, she 
assumed the title of Queen of Castile and Leon, and her husband 
John of Graunt shared her regal style, though neither of them erer 
possessed any real authority in their titular dominions. In the year 
1386 they received from Richard II. and his queen diadems of gold, 
and with a large force went over to Spain to assert their claim against 
John I. of Castile, son and successor of Henry Trastamare. The efiair 
ended in a twofold matrimonial engagement and in a compensatory pen- 
sion of 10,000/. each per annum to the duke and duchess, who thence- 
forth dropped their regal titles. Very littie is known of the private 
history or character of the Duchess Constance, but it would seem 
from the present letter that she had some regard for learning, The 
person to whom it was addressed is uncertain, since there were several 
chancellors from 1377, the date of the accession of Richard II., to 
1386, when Constance went into Spain, and there relinquished the title 
of Queen of Castile. She died in the year 1394, and was interred in the 
ehurch of St Mary at Leicester. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 67 

From the Queen of Castile and Leon, Duchess of 
Lancaster. 

Honoured sir. 

We pray you lovingly that you will grant your 
letters for Friar Alvare, the bearer of these, to the 
prior of the friars-preachers of Oxford, that the said 
friar may be received there to be a student in the 
university of the said city, for love of me. And 
may our Lord ever have you, honoured sir, in his 
holy keeping. 

Written at Hertford, the 7th day of August. 

To the very honoured sir, the Chancellor. 



LETTER XXVL 

Annabella Queen of Scotland to King Richard IL 
A. D. 1394. 

[cotton. MS. VESPASIAN, F. YII. AKT. 37, FOL. 39. 

Original French,'] 

%* The writer of the present letter was a daughter of the noble 
house of Drommond, and wife of that amiable and virtuous, though 
incompetent monarch, Robert III. of Scotland. The leading events 
of his reign are only too weU known. The dark, deceitful, and yet 
powerful character of his brother, the Duke of Albany, who governed 
the kingdom with an almost vice- regal authority, and the headstrong, 
wild, reckless, but generous and high-spirited temper of the Duke of 
Rothsay,'the king's eldest son, which the machinations of his unde 
Albany at length construed into treason, ezdted continual commotion. 
But while Qneen Annabella Uved, her maternal tenderness, together 
with her prudence and sagacity, restrained the excessoi of her son, 



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68 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

and checked the ambitioiu career of Albany. Along with her tme- 
hearted friends, the Bishop of Saint Andrew's and Archibald the Grim, 
earl of Douglas, she exercised a salutary influence over the too easily 
impressible mind of her husband, and maintained a considerable share 
in the government.* It was not till after the queen's death that the 
fearful tragedy was enacted which condemned the heir of the Scottish 
throne to the most terrible of all deaths — a death by starvation. 

The following letter was written before the commencement of 
these domestic troubles in the year 1394, as it would seem from a 
commission printed in the Foedera,"> under that year, for several persons 
to go over to Scotland to treat about the marriages between the royal 
frunilies of England and Scotland here alluded to. The infant 
James, whose birth is named by the queen, afterwards ascended the 
Scottish throne as James I. If the date assigned to the letter be 
correct, it fixes his birth at a rather later period than that usually 
assigned to it; since it has g^ierally been supposed that he was in his 
fourteenth year when he was brought into England in 1405. 

Another letter from Annabella to Richard II., dated the 28th of 
May previously, and written on the same subject, is preserved in 
the same MS.<^ In both the queen shews anxiety to preserve those 
amicable relationships with England which were so important to the 
true interests of her country. 



To the most high and mighty prince Richard, 
by the grace of God king of England, our very dear 
cousin, Annabella, by the selfsame grace queen of 
Scotland^ sends health and greeting. 

• Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. I19« ' 

^ Edit. 1740, vol. iii. p. 102. In this document Richard II. 
gives the Scottish monarch no title whatever but that of *' his adver- 
sary,''-, a smgular appellation when we consider that, if the elucid- 
ations of recent research upon the history of Richard II. be correct, 
that monarch was indebted to the King of Scotland for an asylum in 
the latter part of his life. See Appendix to the third volume of 
Tytler's History of Scotland. 

* They are both printed in the original French in Hnkerton's 
Hiitory of SooUuid, vol. i. pp. 446, 447. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 69 

We give you hearty and entire thanks for your 
loving letters presented to as by oar well-beloved 
Donglas, herald- at -arms, from which we have 
learned to our great pleasure and comfort your 
good health and estate. And, dearest cousin, as 
touching the marriage-treaty to be made between 
some nearly allied to you by blood and some children 
of the king my lord and of us, be pleased to know 
that it is agreeable to the king my said lord and to 
us, as he has signified to you by these letters. And 
in especial, that, although the said treaty could not 
be held on the third day of July last past for certain 
and reasonable causes contained in your letters sent 
to the king my aforesaid lord, you consented that 
the treaty should in like manner take place another 
day, namely, the first day of October next coming, 
which IS agreeable to the king my aforesaid lord 
and to us ; and we thank you heartily aud with good 
will, and affectionately pray you that you will con- 
tinue the said treaty, and have the said day kept, for 
it is the will of my said lord the king and of us that 
as far as in us lies the said day should be kept with- 
out fail. And, dearest cousin, we affectionately re- 
quire and entreat you that your highness will not be 
displeased that we have not sooner written to you ; 
for we were lying in childbed of a male infant named 
James, of whom we are now well and graciously 
delivered, thanks to God and our Lady. And also, 
because, at the coming of your letters, the king my 
said lord was far away in the isles of his kingdom. 



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70 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

we did not receive these letters sent to us on this 
matter till the last day of July last past. Most high 
and puissant prince, may the Holy Ghost ever keep 
you ! Given under our signet, at the abbey of 
Dumfermline, the first day of August. 

To the most high [and puissant prince Richard] 
by God^s grace [king of England]. 



LETTER XXVII. 



Joanna of Navarre^ afterwards Queen of Henry IV., 
to Richard II. a.d. vers. 1399. 

[cotton. MS. JULIUS, B. VI. FOL. 25. Original French,'] 

*^* There are in history as well as in real life many incidents and 
situations ; which when they transpire do not bear the impress of any- 
thing extraordinary, but which yet become so when the reflex light of 
events, then future, is thrown back upon them. Such is the case with 
the following letter. It was, at the time when it was written, a mere 
complimental effusion of courtesy from one potentate to another, yet it 
acquires a startling interest when we remember that she who dictated 
this bland epistle was afterwards the sharer of the throne from which 
the monarch to whom it was addressed was deposed, and the wife of 
his murderer ! It was written probably but a short time before the 
death of Joanna's first husband, John V. duke of Bretagne, in 1399. 
It is more than possible that the ¥rithholding of her husband's lands, 
of which the duchess complains, was an act of retributive vengeance 
on the part of the English king for the counsel and protection which 
the rebel Henry Bolingbroke met ¥rith in the court of Bretagne. But 
this is, of course, mere matter of conjecture. 



My most dear and redoubted lord, 

I desire every day to be certified of your good 
estate, which our Lord grant that it may ever be as 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 71 

good as your heart desires^ and as I should wish it for 
myself. If it would please you to let me know of it, 
you would give me great rejoiciqgs in my heart, for 
every time that I hear good news of you I am most 
perfectly glad at heart. And if to know tidings from 
this side would give you pleasure, when this was 
written my lord, I, and our children were together in 
good health of our persons, thanks to our Lord, who 
by his grace ever grant you the same. I pray you, 
my dearest and most redoubted lord, that it would 
ever please you to have the affairs of my said lord 
well recommended, as well in reference to the deli- 
verance of his lands as other things, which lands in 
your hands are the cause why he sends his people 
promptly towards you. So may it please you here- 
upon to provide him with your gracious remedy, in 
such manner that he may enjoy his said lands peace- 
ably ; even as he and I have our perfect surety and 
trust in you more than in any other. And let me 
know your good pleasure, and I will accomplish it 
willingly and with a good heart to my power. 

My dearest and most redoubted lord, I pray 
the Holy Spirit that he will have you in his holy 
keeping. 

Written at Vannes, the 15th day of March. 

The Duchess of Bretagne. 



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72 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER XXVIII. 

Joanna Duchess of Sretagne, afterwards Queen of 
Englandy to her future Husband Henry IV. 
A.D. 1400. 

[cotton. MS. JULIUS, B. Ti., FOL. 25. Orifftnol JV*eficA:] 

*:!,* The following letter has been usually supposed to have been 
addressed to Richard II., but this supposition is contradicted by 
internal evidence. From Joanna's mention of herself and her children 
and not of her husband, it is evident that it was written when she 
was a widow, whereas her first husband survived Richard II. several 
weeks. The style, too, is more affectionate and less formal than that 
of the preceding letter. From these circumstances it seems certain 
that Henry IV., and not Richard II., was the English king to whom it 
was addressed, and that its true date was 1400— after the death of 
John v. of Bretagne, and before the marriage between Joanna and 
Henry IV, was projected. 



My very dear and most honourable lord and cousin, 
Since I am desirous to hear of your good estate, 
which our Lord grant that it may ever be as good 
as your noble heart knows best how to desire, and, 
indeed, as I would wish it for myself, I pray you, 
my most dear and honoured lord and cousin, that 
it would please you very often to let me know the 
certainty of it, for the very great joy and gladness 
of my heart; for every time that I can hear good 
news of you, it rejoices my heart very greatly. And 
if of your courtesy you would hear the same from 
across here, thanks to you, at the writing of these 
presents^ I and my children were together in good 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* 73 

health of our persons, thanks to God^ who grant yon 
the same, as Johanna of Bayalen, who is going over 
to you, can tell you more fully, whom please it yon 
to have recommended in the business on which she 
is going over* And if anything that I can do over 
here will give you pleasure, I pray you to let me 
know it, and I will accomplish it with a very good 
heart, according to my power. 

My dearest and most honoured lord and cousin, 
I pray the Holy Spirit to have you in his holy 
keeping. 

Written at Vannes, the 15th day of February. 
Thb Duchbss of Bbetaone. 



LETTER XXIX. 

The Prioress of Rowney to King Henry IV. 
A.D. 1400. 

[kotal letters temp, henrt it., towbk collection. 
Original Latin^l 

*^* Rowney was a Benedictine nunnery in Heitfbrdshirei founded 
by Con^n duke of Bretagne, in 1164. The names of none of its 
prioresses have been preserved before the year 1449, therefore nothing 
is known of the writer of the present letter beyond what is therein 
contained. In justice to the monastic sisterhoods of olden time it 
should be observed, that the recorded instances on which an orderly 
community had to appeal to secular authority against refractory mem- 
bers were very few; but, on the other hand, the interior of many of the 
convents presented strange scenes of disorder and licentiousness.* 

* From the thirteenth century down to the close of the reign of 
Henry VI., the Tower collection contains many original letters from 

VOL. I. £ 



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74 LETTBR& OF ROYAL AND 

To the most excellent prince and lord in Christy 
lord' Henry, by Gbd's grace iIla8trioa» king of 
England and France, and lord of Ireland, his^ 
humble and devoted oratrice- the prioress of Rowney^ 
sends the divine suffrages of prayers, with all sorts*' 
of reverence and honour; 

By the tenor of these presents I certify to your 
royal highness that the sister Joanna Adeleshey, a* 
nun of the order of Sfc. Benedict, and notoriously 
profbssed in the. same house, wanders and roams 
abroad from country to country, in a secular habit^ 
despising her vow of obedience^ to the grievous 
danger of her soul, and manifest scandal of her 
order, and pernicious example of others. May it 
therefore please your royal excellency of your royal 
clemency, hitherto ever gracious, to extend the 
secular arm for the capture of the said Joanna, to 
be chastised according to the rule of her order in a 
ease of this kind, lest for want of due chastisement 
a plant given up to divine culture may thus perish. 
And may He who gives to all kings to reign pre- 
serve your royal majesty in prosperity. Given at 
Rbwney, the 12th day of November, a.d. 1400. 

abbesaes, .prioresses^ and conyents: but as they principally consist of 
potions for permission to elect a superior, or for her confirmation 
when elected, they are of little interest (excepting indeed that of sup- 
plying several vacancies in the hitherto known lists of abbesses and 
prioresses), and are therefore omitted from the present collection. 



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ILl.Ufi(TRIOUS t ADIES. J5 



LETTER XXX. 

Chtytitie Duribar (Countess of March to Henry TV. 
A.D. 1403. 

[cotton. MS. VESPASIAN, F. VII. ART. 109, POL. 96. 

Original Preneh,^ 

*ni* Christine Dunbar was the wife of George earl of March, one 
of the most influential of the Scottish nobles during the reign of 
Robert III. Their daughter* was pKghted in marriage to the young 
Duke of Rothsay, the heir to the Scottish crown, but through the 
influence of the Douglas party the contract was broken off, and the 
prince married the Lady Elizabeth Douglas. The wrath of the Earl 
of March was so aroused by this, that he wrote an indignant letter to 
Heniy IV. of England,* to whom he was related on the mother's 
side, I* asking f6r his aid and a refuge in England. A safe-conduct 
was accordingly sent for himself, his wife, and children, and eighty 
persons as their attendants.^ The earl made several fruitless attempts 
to t-egain his position in Scotland by English interference.*^ Active in 
the serviee of Henry IV., his valour had an iibportant influence in 

• Cotton. MS. Vesp. F. Vlli art. 18, fol. 22. 

^ The relationship is thus alluded to by the earl : — " And, excellent 
prince, since that I claim to be of kin to yon, and it peradventure is 
not known on your part, I shew it to your lordship by this my 
letter, that if Dame Alice le Bowmont was your grandame, Dame 
Margery Comyn, her full sister, wad my grandame on the other side, 
so that I am of the fourth degree of kin to you, the which in olden 
times was called near.'' He is a little out in his genealogies, however. 
Dame Alice le' Beaumont, the daughter of John Comyn earl of 
Bnicdian, was the grandmother of Blanche of Lancaster, wife of John 
of Gaunt, and therefore great-grandmother of Henry IV. The king 
himself referred to his Scotch descent when, during one of his inva- 
sions of Scotiand, the monks of Holyrood sent to request his mercy, 
and he observed in his fovourable reply to their petition that he himself 
was a Comyn, and by that side half a Scot. — ^Tttlek's Scotland , 
vol. iii. p. 103. 

« Rotuli Scotise, vol. ii. p. 154 b. 

<* Nicolas' Acts of the Privy Council, vol. i. pp. 171, 172. 



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76 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

turning the scale in favour of that monarch at the battle of Shrews- 
bury, at which young Henry Percy, sumamed Hotspur, was slain. 
The death of this young nobleman, the flower of English chivalry, 
seems to have excited jealousy against the Scottish earl, of which the 
countess bitterly complains. Their poverty was occasioned by the 
forfeiture of their Scottish estates, a loss which was very inadequately 
compensated by the trifling assignments of manors and lands made 
them by Henry IV.» The earl, in a letter to the king, makes a 
similar complaint of want of money.** When a few more years of 
weary exile and vain attendance on the favour of a foreign prince had 
elapsed, the earl made the best terms he could for himself with the 
Douglas faction, and returned to Scotland. 



My most excellent and redoubted sovereign lord, 

I recommend myself to you as entirely as terres- 
trial creature can think or devise to the crowned king 
of the world,*' humbly thanking you on my knees for 
the high favours and benefits that you have con- 
ferred upon me before this time, piously supplicating 
for your gracious continuance, and particularly for 
the gracious refreshment which you lately sent. 
May God reward you for it, since I cannot. 

My most gracious lord, may it please you to 
know that my lord my husband** and I have been 
in such hardships and distress since we were ba- 
nished from our country, that I am yet involved in 
heavy debt, from which without your gracious aid 
and succour I cannot deliver myself; and now the 

* See for these Rymer's Foedera, edit. 1740, vol. iv. pp. 8, 53- 
Privy Council Acts, vol. ii. p. 97. 

*» The letter is printed by Pinkerton vol. ii. App. p. 449. 

« " Au roy du monde coronne." 

^ The original word is ** mon baron,*' 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 77 

pestilence is so Tiolent and severe where we are, 
that I am very fearful lest I shoald die in this great 
debt that I have incurred. And by no intreaty that 
we can make can we obtain sufferance from our 
enemies to retire to our fortress of Colbrandspath, 
there to wait till the mortality has ceased. And 
for this cause I humbly entreat your high royal 
majesty that you will be pleased to have me in 
remembrance when you shall find leisure, and help 
me, that by your gracious relief I may be freed from 
the debt which makes me sad. Besides this, my 
most redoubted and gracious lord, we suffer great 
enmity on account of the death of Sir Henry Percy, 
which oftentimes is so heavy to my husband and 
his people, that they wish themselves dead, if they 
may not retire from this country, seeing that the 
people of the said Sir Henry Percy do nothing but 
hear comfortable news of you, in order then to do 
the malice that is in their hearts.* And, my most 
gracious and sovereign lord, touching the capture of 
our people by those attending on the Earl of Douglas^ 
deign to give credence to the bearer of this, and 
ordain such remedy as you please, according to what 
the said bearer shall tell you by word of mouth. 
And I pray most earnestly the ever-blessed God of 
Heaven to grant you a long life, with all increase of 

* The meaning of this passage is somewhat obscure. The original 
nms thus, — '' Issint que les gens le dit Sir Henry ne fkoent rien fors 
escoutent confortables norenz de yous pour alors faire le malioe qu'esC 
ftrme en lenrs ooers." 



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78 I^ETTERS QF HOTAL AND 

honour and joy, together with victory over yoar 
enemies ; and after this mprtal life u^ay he grant you 
the kingdom of glory. Amen. 

Your humble oratrice, 
The Countess of March of Scotland. 

To my most excellent and most redoubted 
lord, the king of England. 

Marked in a modem hand, *' Aipio 5 H. 4." 



LETTER XXXI. 

Philippa Queen of Portugal to her Brother^ 
Henry IV, a.d. 1405. 

[cotton. 118. iHESPASjA^i F. lu. A&T. 93, POL. 86. Original Freneh^l 

*^* Fhilippa of Lancaster was the eldest daughter of John of 
Gaunt, by his first wife Blanche of Iiancaster. She and her sister 
Elizabeth were brought up in childhood under the tutelage of the 
notorious Lady Catherine Swynford, so long their father's mistress, 
from whose legitimated offspring our Tudor sovereigns are descended. 
A curious old wardrobe roll of John of Gaunt, still in excellent pre- 
servation in the office of the duchy of Lancaster, gives the following 
particulars of their expenditure :-7- 

For three saddles with, all their apparatus gflt, 
bought from Robert Pykerell, sadler. of Lon- 
don, and given io the Ladies Plplippa and Eliza- 
beth of Lancaster, and to Catherine Swynford, 
their mistress, 12th of November, aipo 50 Edw. 
^1.(1376) 1^33 6 

Jo Cath^rioe ^yrpOoH, niMi^trcM of tt» Indies 
F^ppa and Eli?:aM^f tpr th^ w9XjM» uttow- 
anoe for the term from Michaelmas, anno ^ * 03 ^ 8 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 79 

For inddental espeniei over and above tfast a]iiiiiity> 

16th February, anno dl^' £ 16 13 4 

For similar incidental expenses at ^Easter, anno '5I<» 100 t) 6 
To Emma, a damsel of the Lady Hhilqipa, ibr ^er 

yearly wa|;e 33 4 

All the sums expended for theyonng ladies were paid to, and their 
receipt duly acknowledged by, tiieir gouvemante. 

In a wardrobe book of FhiUppa's brother, Henry earl of Derbyi 
afterwards Henry IV., for the year 1382, notice occurs of a wine- 
flagon which he gave to the Lady Fhilippa hiif sister on the last of 
March. 

The marriage of Fhilipyfia wlUi John I. king of Portugal, took 
place in February, 1387, and she had by him a large family of 
dhildren; but notwithstanding tins, *her hus'band did not maintain his 
matrimonial fidelity uiUemirihed. <One of his natural sons, who 
espoused the heiress of 'Braganza, thus became ancestor of the present 
royal fiunily of Portugal. Queen Fhilippa seems to have treated her 
husband's bastards witii much kindness, and the marriage of the Earl 
of Amndel refened to in the ptresent letter, which At expreariy «|fb 
was entered into in part at her instance, was with one of his 
daughters called Beatrix. It is .probable that, when on a visit to her 
brother, Phflippa had brought over fhe yoong lady to England, and, 
anxious to obtain a settlemei^ for her, had persuaded the yowng FUs- 
Alan to marry her. Now the Earl of Arundel had had a strong desire 
to be allowed the &en unusual privilege of choosing his -own wife ; so 
strong, that in his minority he had promised a large sum of gold to th<^ 
king for this peitnission. When the Poittoguese ladf was proposed to 
him, one inducement offered to win his consent was that, the marriage 
being wished for by the English king, he would then escape the pay- 
menlt of tfie ionui, Accordiiigly he f^ave a relnrtaat assent, and on 
the morrow of St Catherine's day, November 26th, 1404, they were 
married at London, the king and queen gracing the wedding with 
' their pfreaence.* "Not long afterwards, however, the imfortunate eari 
wvM 0urpria«d kj a 4emaad on the port of tlie king for ^e pionised 
bribe which was to have secured for him the pleasure of a love-marriage, 
and he was placed in the pleasant predicament of either paying the 
money <m* acknowledging that his now wedded wife was not tiie ckoioe 
9i his heart In tius ditemma be sent 9m ambassador to the promoter 
of the marriage, Queen Fhilippa, which elicited from her the following 
epistle, 

* Dugdale^s Baronage, vol. i. p. 320, 



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80 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Most high and most puissant prince, my most 
supremely beloved brother^ 

I recommend myself to your high nobleness as 
humbly and entirely as I can or know how with all 
my entire heart, supremely desiring to hear and 
know often of your estate and health ; and in special 
of the prosperity of your most genteel person, as 
good, pleasant, and joyous news as you yourself, most 
noble prince, could best devise, or in any manner 
desire, for your sovereign ease and comfort. And 
because I am certain that you would most willingly 
hear similar things from here, I signify to you that 
the king my sovereign lord, all my children, your 
own nephews,* who wish always to be most humbly 
recommended to you, and I their mother, your own 
sister, at the making of these presents were all well 
and hearty of body, thanks to our Creator, who ever 
maintain you in honour and prosperity according to 
your desire. 

Most high and puissant prince, my best beloved 
brother, please it you to know that by Mr. John 
Wiltshire, knight and ambassador of our cousin the 
Earl of Arundel, I am here informed how a sum 
of gold is yet owing to you by the said earl, which 
he pledged himself to pay you for the license which 
it pleased your gracious lordship to grant and give 
him in his nonage,, that he might marry according 
to his wish, and in whatever place he saw fitting 

* " Vo8 entiers nepveiu." 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 81 

to his estate. And since you know well, my su- 
prenaely best-loved brother, that he is now married 
not after his own seeking but as by your com- 
mandment, in part at my instance, I therefore 
supplicate you, since you are so great and noble a 
prince, as entirely as I know how, that it will 
please you to quit claim to the said sum at this 
my request, in order that I, who am in part the 
cause of his marriage, may be the cause of the ac- 
quittal of the said sum. And if there be anything 
in these parts which might give you pleasure, may it 
please you to command and certify it to me, and I 
will do it to my utmost power without hypocrisy. So 
I pray our sovereign Lord Jesu ever to give you 
prosperity, plesaunce, and joy, and very long to en- 
dure. Written at the palace of Lisbon, the 4th day 
of November. 

Your entire and loyal sister, 

P. DK P. 

To ihe most high and puissant [prince my best] 
beloved brother 1^ King of England* 



b2 



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i^'fji^M py RoyAL A^D 



LETTER XXXII. 

Joanna Counters of WestV[ior$hmd to her Brother^ 
Henry IV. a. d. 1406. 

[cotton MS. YESPASIAK, V. XIII. ABT. 27, FOL. 32. 

*^ Joanna Beaufort was the oqly daughter of John of Gaunt by 
hi« wife Catherine Swynford. Notwithstanding the illegitimacy qf 
her birth she was recognised by the Lancastrian family, eyen before the 
death of Constance of Carlislie permitted the union of her mother with 
John of Gaunt. In 1391, her brother IJenry, afterwiprds Henry IV., 
styling her ''the Lady Joanna de Beaufort,'' presented her with ft 
pair of paternosters of gold and coral, and two years afterwards with 
a piece of white damask.^ Her position in regard to the royal 
family of England is a singular one. Though a scipu of thq ^nctu» 
trian branch of the family of Edward III., she yet became the grand- 
mother of two English kings of the York line, and the great-grand- 
mother of an English queen. The husband of the Lady .Joanna was 
Ralph Neville earl of Westmoreland, by whom she ]iad a large ^ily« 
Her eldest son, Richard Neville, was father of the celebrated Richard 
Neville earl of Warwick, sumamed the King-maker, and grandfather 
consequently of the Lady Anne of Warwick, the bride of the unfortunate 
Edward, 'the Lancastrian prince of Wales, and afterwards the wife of 
his murderer Richard III. of England. Catherine Neville, Joanna's 
eldest daughter, was married to John Mowbray duke of Norfolk, and 
their only child, the heiress of the immense Norfolk estates, was the 
little Lady Anne Mowbray, whose early betrothment to Prince Richard, 
the younger son of Edward lY., has afforded a fitting subject for the 
pen and pencil of historical romance, and becomes still more replete 
with interest from the tragic fate of the young bridegroom, and the 
early death of the infantile bride.*' But it was through the posterity 
of her youngest daughter that the Lady Joanna became the immediate 
ancestress of the English royal femily — ^this was Cicely Neville, who 

• Wardrobe books of Henry earl of Derby, 14, 15 and 16, 17 
Richard II., hi the office of the duchy of Lancaster. 

»> The Harleian MS. 69, entitled The Book of certain Triumphs, 
contains an account of the jousts and feats of arms to be held at the 
Bolemnisation of the marriage between the king's ** right dear son 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 83 

iBuNrried Bidiard Flantageiiet dvke iji Xork, and wm die motjwr of 
Edward lY. and Richard III. 

Hie Countess Joanna died on the 13th of November, 1440, and 
WM buried with a highly laudatory epitaph in Lincoln cathedral. 
The letter here giyen ia nuNre easy and leas formal in its slyle tlian moat 
epistles of the period. Its contents need no comment ; they appeal at 
once to the sympathies of domestic life, and place in an amiable 
light t]ie character of the writer. Hie original has had a piece torn out; 
the lost words are conjecturally supplied by the passages in crotchets* 



Most high and puissant prince, and most excellent 
sovereign lord, 

I recommend myself to your royal and high 
lordship in the most obedient manner which, with 
my whole, entire, and simple heart, I can most 
humbly do, as she who desires to know of you, and 
of your most noble estate and most perfect health, 
such prosperity as your royal and most honourable 
heart can desire. And may it please your high 
nobleness to understand that I write now to your 
royal presence in behalf of your loyal liege and 
esquire, Christopher Standitb, who, as he has cer- 
tified me, has been in your seryice in Wales erery 
"time you have been there against your enemies, and 
besides, in all your most honourable journeys since 
your coronation, in which he has expended the 
substance that he could acquire of his own and of his 
friends, in such wise that, whereas he and my well* 

Richard duke of York, marshall of England and earl of Nottingham, 
and the right noble Anne Mowbray, daughter and sole heir unto the 
high and mighty prince, John late duke of Norfolk. The matrimonial 
feast whereof to be kept in his palace of Westminster the XYth day of 
January nest,'' 



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84 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

beloved his wife Margaret (daughter to Mr. ThomaflT 
Fleming, who was chancellor and servant during 
hia life to my most honoured and redoubted lord 
your father, whom God assoil) kept house and 
establishment, they have left it, and the said Mar- 
garet is lodged very uncomfortably with her children, 
of whom she has many, having one or two every 
year; and all this on account of the great charge 
which her said husband has incurred and still 
incurs in your service ; to whom, of your gracious 
goodness and gentleness, you have aforetime pro- 
mised guerdon of his labour, whenever he. should 
spy out [something] from which [he could have a 
living] of 40 marks or of 40 pounds. And, most 
puissant and excellent prince and my most sovereign 
lord, he is the youngest [and his father has dis- 
missed him from] his serv[ice], and that merely 
because he and his wife married each other for 
downright love, without thinking this time [what 
they should have to live upon. Wherefore 1} entreat 
your most high and puissant lordship to consider 
that the said Margaret should dwell [in some suit- 
able place, or else with the queen] your wife, whom 
God protect ; and that she is come to me trusting 
that my [intercession] might avail her with you. 
May it please you to be gracious lord to her and her 
said husband, and of your guerdon [assist them] to 
support in their persons poor gentility, that their 
affiance may turn to good effect for them, and to my 
honour, if it please you, by their finding succour 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 85 

from your royal and most excellent nobility^ on 
account of this my most effectual supplication. 

Most high and puissant prince and most ex- 
cellent sovereign lord, I pray God to grant you a 
most honourable and long life, and preserve you in 
his most excellent keeping, and give entire joy and 
gladness as much as your gentle and most noble 
heart would choose or desire. Written at the castle 
of Raby. 

Your most humble and obedient subject, if it 

please you, 

J. DB W. 

To tiie most hig^ and puissant prince 
and most excellent sorereign lord the king. 

Endorsed in Latin, " A letter to the Countess 
of Westmoreland/' 

Marked in two places, " 7 H. 4." 



LETTER XXXIII. 

Catherine Daughter of John of Gaunt^ Queen of 
Castile and Leon, to her Brother Henry IV. 
A.D. 1412. 

[cotton. MS. TESPA.SIAN, F. III. ART. 82» FOL. 75. Original Spani^hJ] 

\* Catherine of Lancaster was the only child of John of Gaunt hy 
his second wife, Constance of Castile, and, of coarse, the prospectiye 
inheritrix of her mother's claims to the Castilian throne. But in the 
year 1386 these claims were merged hy the m4on of Catherine, then 
a girl thirteen years of age, with Henry prince of Astorias, after- 
wards Henry III. of Castile, grandson of Henry of Trastamare, her 
mother's hastard nncle. That Catherine herself considered her title to 
CastUian royalty founded on a firmer basis than the fiortane^ which led 



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S6 L£TT£R3 OF ROTAL AND 

l^er to IwiMWM qiiBOQ-rOooMit of Spfun 10 proTod by the nngnUur ex* 
pression s}ie wses vi her style, ** Yo, wn ventura reyna," &c, ; or, a9 it 
reads in her French letters, *^ Je, sans fortune reine,'' &c. ; by which 
she decifflvely intimates her own opinion that she possessed an in- 
berent rigbf to tbe l^ope, independent of l^sr marriage. On the 
death of her husband, in 1406, she became guardian of her son and 
governor of his realms. It was in this capacity that she wrote to her 
half-broker, Henry IV. Another letter of hers, written to the king 
the preceding April, in French, |s also in existence, treating of the 
restitution of the j^oods of a Bristol yessel, which had been plundered 
by the Spaniards.* Queen ' Catherine was grandmother of the 
celebrated Isabella of Castile, wife of Ferdinand of Aragon, and con- 
sequently great-grandmother of Catherine of Aragon, the first queen 
of Henry VIII, 



Most high and powerful Pqh Henry, by God's 
grace king of England and France, lord of Ireland, 
my most dear and beloved, and with all my heart, 
and with my entire mind, most cherished brother 
and lord, I, undoubted Queen of Castile and Leon, 
mother of the king and his guardian, and governor of 
his realms, send to recommend myself to your favour 
and benediction,^ and much to salute you as him, to 
whom I pray that God would give as much health 
and life with honour as you yourself desire. 

Most dear and beloved brother and lord, I entreat 
that by all means, as continually as you can, you will 
certify and let me know of your health, and life, 
and good estate ; and of the Queen your companion, 
ipy dearest and best-loved sister ; and of the Prince 
of Wales, and the other princes your sons, my dearest 
and best-loved nephews; by which you will do me 

» CDttoa. MSL Vesp. C. XII., printed in Pcedera, e^t. I7«9, 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 87 

most singular pleasure and honour, and it will be a 
thing which will greatly please me, since it ia one of 
the most principal things of this world at which my 
heart is most joyous and consoled. And since, 
dearest and best-loyed brother and lord, I know well 
that you will be pleased with the same thing, I cerr 
tify and let you know, that, at the time when this 
letter was written, the said king my son, your dearest 
and best-loved nephew, and I, and the infantas 
Donna Maria and Donna Catalina my daughters, 
your dearest and best-loved nieces, are well, and in 
good disposition of our persons ; praise to God, who 
thus grant us to continue, and by his same grace 
grant it to you at all times. 

Moreover, dearest and best-loved brother and 
lord, we give you to know that, having seen your 
writing which you sent me by John de Samora, your 
messenger,* and understood its contents, whereas I 
find there how you complain that the truce was 
past some days before a prolongation was fixed for 
another following year, according as he will make 
relation to you. About this, and, moreover, about 
the coming of your ambassadors, who should come 
to join themselves with those whom the king my 
son should send, to see and determine upon the 
damage and mischief which those who are injured 
have received of their own goods, f send to you 
the said John de Samora, who will speak of some 
things that he will have to say to you from me, and 

* He was appointed ambassador Sept. 24t)l» MU- 



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38 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

of others which have been already confirmed in my 

name, which he will tell you. Wherefore, dearest 

and best-beloved brother and lord, I request you 

that it would please you to give faith and credence 

to the things that he will say to you on my part in 

this matter. Dearest and best-loved brother and 

lord, may the Holy Trinity ever have you in his holy 

keeping! Written in the city of Valladolid, the 

aOthday of July. 

I THE Queen.* 

To the most high and powerfiil prince Don 
Henry, by God's grace king of England and France, 
lord of Ireland, my dearest and best-loved, and 
with all my heart most entirely cherished brother 
and lord. 

Marked, " 1412." 



LETTER XXXIV. 

Joanna de Kynnesley to King Henry IV. 

[rotal petitions, tower collection. Original French,'] 

To our most excellent and most redoubted lord 
the king. 

• " Ko la reyna.^' This was the usual mode of signature with 
Spanish monarchs, and is retained up to Hie present day. A similar 
signature of Catherine occurs in the same MS. from which the present 
letter is taken, art. 80, where, in her capacity of regent, she counterr 
signs a letter of her son John II. In her French letters she signs " Je 
la reine.** For fiuther particulars of transactions between Henry and 
Catherine see Foedera, vol. viii. p. 703 ; Acts of Privy Council, 
voL ii. pp» 24, 118. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 89 

Supplicates most humbly a poor and simple 
woman, Joanna de Kynnesley ; that whereas John 
de Kynnesley, her husband, by hate and malice, was 
put in prison within the castle of Norwich, where he 
has long lain through false suggestions, that it would 
please your most gracious lordship, for the love of 
God, and for the souls of your most noble fa^her and 
mother, whom God assoil, to grant and give to your 
said suppliant your gracious letters, sealed under 
your seal, made in due form, directed to the sheriff 
of the county of Norfolk, charging and straitly com* 
manding him to deliver up the body of the said 
John out of prison, that he may go at large, to an- 
swer before your royalty, in case any one should 
accuse him ; and she will pray God for you and for 
your progenitors for ever. 



LETTER XXXV. 

Queen Joanna^ Widow of Henry IV., to her Son 
John Duke of Bedford, a.d. 1416. 

[cotton. MS. TESPASiAN, P. III. ART. 5, FOL. 5. Original French.1 

\* Joanna of Navarre is the first English queen whose autograph 
signature is known to be in existence. This autograph has generally 
escaped notice, from the circumstance that, in the descripticm of the 
present letter in the Cotton catalogue, it is by mistake ascribed to 
Henry y. Neither of the two prerious letters of Joanna is signed 
by herself, from which we may conclude that she learned to write qfter 
her arriyal in England. The father of Henry IV., ^ old John of 
Gaunt,, time-honoured Lancaster/' waa a patron of literatuxe. His 



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90 LETTERS OF BjOYAL AND 

i^ttaohment to the doctrine of WieUiffe is weU known; and it is a 
8ing;ular coincidence (if, indeed, it be not more than a mere coin- 
cidence), that it was in tiie family of the first Protestant prince of 
England that the traces of advancing education and refinement ave 
found. His daughter seem to have .been the first English ladies who 
Imew how to write, ^enry lY. was an accomplished prince, and 
chose that, though comparatively late in life, his wife should share his 
advantages. 

The date of the present letter is probably 1415, at which period the 
Duke of Bedford was lieutenant of England, during the absence of his 
brother, Henry Y., in Frence,at the celebrated campaign of Agincourt. 
It cannot be assigned to a later periods since, from its being dated at 
Langley, it must hove been written before the imprisonment of the 
queen-dowager in Pevensey Castle on an accusation of sorcery, which 
took place in 1418 ; and the Duke of Bedford was not lieutenant of 
Ehagland in the intecmediate period. One of tlie Cottonian MSS. * 
contains an inspeximus of a charter of Queen Joanna, dated Langley, 
January 20di, in the third year of Henry YI., by which, under the 
style of ^* Joanna, .queen of England and France, and lady of Ireland," 
sl^ grants to her cousin, Edmund Beaufort earl of Martaigne, the 
office of constable of her castle of t^^ottingham, and the custody of her 
forest of Sherwood, with 201, to be received each year firom her trea- 
surer and receiver-general for the time being. Beaufort afterwards 
granted the office to Ralph Cromwell."^ 



High and puissant prince, our dearest and best* 
beloved son, 

We thank you entirely, because ve know well 
thf4> yp^ de^e to kpow of our good estiite* So be 
it known unto you^ dearest son, that at the making 
pf thisse presets we were in good condition {>{<hit 
person y God be thanked, who ever grant you the 
game J find be good enough to certify us by all 

f VflipasiaQ, F. ]^III. ait. 72, fol. C2. 

i> nk a«ne fs aispviiitod JUchm^ kt <2w Cotton eaitalogiie. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 91 

messengers of your health, of which we are equally 
desirous to know, for our consolation and joy, al- 
ways when we can know good news of you. 

Our dearest and most beloved son, the very sin- 
gular desire that we have for the accomplishment of 
the matter contained in the supplication herein en- 
closed, touching the fee of our dear and good friend 
John Faringdon, our attorney-general, on account of 
his own commendable deserts, causes us at present 
to write to you, praying you, with most entire heart, 
that, having understood the tenor of the said sup- 
plication, you will therein grant him your good 
and gracious service for love of us, that, according 
to the effect and purport of this, he may be paid his 
said fee ; that thus this our hearty prayer may take 
full effect in accomplishment of our desire in this 
matter, according to the entire confidence that we 
have in you. 

And if there be anything on our part that we 
can do to your pleasure, be pleased to signify it, and 
we will accomplish it with very good heart, ac- 
cording to our power. Our Lord give you in honour 
and perfect health a very good life, and as long as 
you desire. Written at our manor of Langley, the 
iOth day of November. 

Joanna. 

To ike high and jpn^<uit prwqe, .our deajfeqt 
and most beloved son^ the Duke of Bedford, lieu- 
tenant of England. 

Marked, " H. 5." 



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92 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER XXXVI. 
Constance Lady Husee to King Henry VI, a.d. 1441. 

[cotton. MS. YsspASiAN, F. XIII. ART. 50, FOL. 47. Original.'] 

*^* The letter now laid before the reader is the earliest specimen 
of an English epistle, written by a lady, which has fallen under the 
editor's notice.* Of Sir Henry Husee, 'the husband of Lady Husee,' we 
iind that, in the 8th of Henry YI., 1430, he had free warren granted 
of the manor of Herting, in Sussex, as the cousin and heir of Matthew 
Husee ;^ and that he died in 1450, but without any recorded landed 
possessions.^^ The R. H. prefixed to the letter is the original sig-^ 
nature in the handwriting of Henry YI., who expressed thereby his 
intention of granting the petition it contained. 



R. H. 

To the king our sovereign lord, 

Beseecbeth meekly your humble and continual 
oratrice Dame Constance, the wife of Henry Husee, 
knight, the which was menial servant with the most 
worthy and Christian king your father, whose soul 
God assoil, and continued in his service as well 
beyond the sea as on this side the sea all the times 
of his noble reign, without any fee or reward ; that 
whereas your said oratrice continued in the service 
of the noble princess your grandame, whose soul 
God assoil, as well in the time of your full noble 

* In the Tower collection are several English letters written 
towards the close of the reign of Henry YI. ; but they are of no par- 
ticular interest, and are from females of inferior station. 

^ Calend. Rot. pat. p. 276. 

^ Calend. Inquis. post mortem, vol. It. p. 245. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 93 

father and ayeul (grandfather) as in yours, unto the 
time of his dying, in recompense of which service it 
liked the queen your said grandame, of her grace 
special, for the term of her life, to grant by her 
gracious letters patent unto y^ur said oratrice 20/. 
yearly, to be taken of the issues and profits of the 
manor of Kingsthorp, in the county of North- 
[ampton] ; and also in likewise 100^. yearly, to be 
taken of the issues and profits of the manor ofOdi- 
ham, in the county of South[ampton], as in the said 
letters patent openly appeareth ; that it please 
you of your especial grace tenderly to consider the 
long service of the said Sir Henry and Dame Con- 
stance, that they never had other fee nor reward 
than the said 25/., the which is now ceased by the 
death of your said grandame, and thereupon to 
grant unto your said oratrice, by your several letters 
patents, the said 25/. in like form as she had it, term 
of her life, yearly to be taken of the issues and 
profits of the manors abovesaid. And your said 
oratrice shall pray God continually for you. 
Beneath is written, — 

" The Chamberlain pf England. 
My lord hath granted this bill ; notwithstanding that 
it was signed with his ow^n hand, yet he commanded 
me to endorse it." 

A note in French, also below : — 

" This letter was drawn out at Westminster the 
22d day of May, the year, &c. 19." 



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94 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETtER XXXVII. 
Elizabeth Countess of Oaford to Sir John Paston. 

[PASTOK LBTTBEB, D0t7CB Mi^'. NO. 39^, FOL. 82. BODLEIAK 
LIBKART, OXFOBD. OripwU,'] 

\* The following is one of the earliest English letters of an 
English peeress^ not of the blood royal, of which the original is in 
existence.* It belongs to the series of the letters of the Paston feunily, 
some few of which, having fiillen into other hands, remained unpub- 
lished when ■ Fenn presented one of the most yaluable contributions 
ever made to English historical literature, in the publication of the 
celebrated Paston Letters. The writer was tiie daughter of Sir 
John Howard, knight, and heiress in JSbr own right of the barony of 
Flaitz. In 1426 she contracted a stolen love-match with John de 
Vere, twelfth earl of Ozfo^, who had to suffer a long imprisonment, 
and pay a fine of 2000/. for his imprudence. In common with all his 
family he was a violent Lancastrian, and was beheaded for his ad- 
herence to the cause of the red rose on the accession of Edward IV. 

The letter was written in the reign of Henry YI. Though original, 
the signature is not autograph ; the successor of this lady being the 
first Countess of Oxfoi'd, who could write her own name. She was, 
however, a patroness of literature ; for, in 1477, she presented to the' 
nunnery of Barking a beaulafiilly written French MS., containing the 
lamentations of St. Bernard, the meditations of St. Augustine, and 
the life of St. Louis of France. This MS. is now in the library of 
St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford. 



Right entirely well-beloved, 

I greet you well, thaDking you of the great gen- 
tleness that you have shewed unto my right well- 



■ Probably the earliest letter is one from Maud countess of Glou- 
cester, A. D. 1268, in the Tower collection. It is in old French, but 
merely on matters of business. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. $5 

beloved James Arblaist, praying you of continuaiice ; 
and if there be any tbing tbat I may do for you^ or 
any of yei]i«| here op in<aay other plaee^ I pray yea 
let me wit, and I shall be ready to do it, with the^ 
grace of God, who have you in his keeping; and' 
I pray you to be friendly unto my right well-beloved 
Agnes Arblast, which is to me great pleasure and 
heart's ease, an you so be. Written at Nevenhow, 

the 13th day of April. 

Oxford, 1 
Elizabbth.J 

To my ri^t entirely well-belaved John 
Paston, of Norwich, Esquire. 



LETTER XXXVIII. 

Margaret of Anjou^ Queen of Henry F/., to the 
Citizens of London, a. d. 146 1 . 

[haul. MS, NO. 543, FOL. 147.] 

%* Hie following letter, or manifesto, needs UtOe comment ; it is 
one of the few productions of the high-spirited Margaret of Anjou 
now in existence. It was penned early in 1461 ; when, after the 
battle of Wakefield, which cost the Duke of York his life, the queen 
advanced towards London to secure the capitAl. It was addressed to^ 
the citizens of London, where the king was then residing, and its 
object was to secure, by fair promises, their fiivourable reception of 
hbrself and her troops, which 'were composed of an odd medley of 
EnglJsh» Scotch, Iri8h» and Welah» into^ the city. The eloquence of 
the queen proved unsuccessful, however. Hie Londoners, fearing the 
presence of such tumultuous, guests, chose to reinforce the army of the 
Barl of Warwick, and throw their powerful influence into the scale of 



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96 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

iht Yorkists. Their determined enmity kept the queen at bay till the 
Earl of March (afterwards Edward IV.) joined his troops to those of 
the Earl of Warwick, and rendered her entrance into London impos- 
sible. The unfortunate Queen Margaret was destined never again to 
enter the capital of that kingdom which she had long ruled with so 
despotic a sway. 



Right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you 
heartily well. 

And whereas the late Duke of N. [York] of 
extreme malice, long hid under colours, imagined 
by divers and many ways and means the de- 
struction of my lord's good grace, whom God of 
his mercy ever preserve, hath now late, upon an 
untrue pretence, feigned a title to my lord's crown, 
and royal estate, and pre-eminence, contrary to his 
allegiance and divers solemn oaths of his own offer 
made, uncompelled or constrained, and fully pro- 
posed to have deposed him of his regality, ne had been 
(had it not been for) the sad (&rm)y unchangeable 
and true dispositions of you and others, his true 
liegemen, for the which your worshipful dispositions 
we thank you as heartily as we can. And howbeit, 
that the same untrue, unsad, and unadvised person, 
of very pure malice, disposed to continue in his 
cruelness, to the utterest undoing, if he might, of us, 
and of my lord's son and ours the prince, which, 
with God's mercy, he shall not be of power to 
perform, by the help of you and all other my lord's 
faithful disposed subjects, hath thrown among you, 
as we be certainly informed, divers untrue and 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 97 

feigned matters and surmises ; and in especial, that 
Yfe and my Iord*s said son and ours should newly 
draw toward you with an unseen power of strangers, 
disposed to rob and to despoil you of your goods and 
havings (property) ; we will that you know for certain 
that, at such time as we or our said son shall be 
disposed to see my lord, as our duty is and so binds 
us to do, you, nor none of you, shall be robbed, 
despoiled, nor wronged by any person that at that 
time we or our said son shall be accompanied with, or 
any other sent in our or his name, praying you, in 
our most hearty and desirous wise, that [above] all 
earthly things you will diligently intend (attend) to 
the surety of my lord's royal person in the mean 
time; so that through malice of his said enemy he 
be no more troubled, vexed, nor jeoparded. And, so 
doing, we shall be unto you such lady as of reason 
you shall be largely content. Given under our 
signet, &c. 



A wardrobe book of Queen Margaret of Anjou, in a perfect state 
of preservation^ which has hitherto escaped the notice of any biogra- 
pher of this queen, is in the office of the duchy of Lancaster. It is 
presumed that a few extracts from it, although irrelevant to the 
subject of the foregoing letter, will not be considered out of place. 
The period to which it extends is from September 1452 to the same 
date in 1453. Its contents folly bear out the weU-known character 
of the queen for untiring energy and industry in public affairs, and 
also prove that she exercised a diligent surveillance over her own 
private affairs. To John viscount Beaumont, chief seneschal of aU her 
manors and lands, she paid annually 66/. 13«. id. ; to Lawrence 
Booth, her chancellor, 53/. ; to William Cotton, her receiver-general, 
70/. 10«. Robert Tanfield, her attorney pursuing all her pleas, her 
VOL. I. F 



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98 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

two bailiffs, and many other attorneys, attorneys' clerks, and legal 
officers, received similar stipends. She gave 33«. 4d, to John Flogge, 
viscount of Kent, '< as a certain bonus, by the advice of the council of 
tiie queen, for the payment of 22/. 13«. 4d,f auri regina (queen's 
gold), raised by him from goods and chattels this year.'' That is to 
say, he had distrained upon those unfortunate persons who were not 
otherwise able to satisfy the claims of the queen, and was thus re- 
warded for his zeal. The large sums expended by Margaret in the 
purchase of paper, wax, account-books, bags for money, legal advice, 
&c., both for her accounts and those of the chancery, shew how much 
of the state business passed through the hands of the queen. Her in- 
defatigable attention to public affairs farther appears by the following 
entries : — *' To Thomas Scales, for his diligent daily attendance in our 
council, 10/. " ' ' To our dearest cousin, Edmund duke of Somerset, for 
his good and laudable counsel in urgent business, an annuity of 
66/. 13«. 4</." This was the well-known favourite, but unpopular 
councillor, of the queen. 

Margaret's own household was formed on an extensive scale. 
John Wenloch, the knight of her chamber, received 40/. for his yearly 
wages ; and the two knights of the board 40 marks each. Ismania 
lady of Scales, Isabella lady Grey, Lady Margaret Ross, Lady 
Isabella Dacre, and Lady Isabella Butler, are mentioned as being in 
immediate attendance upon her person, besides ten '* little damsels," 
and two chamberwomen. She had her grooms and pages of the 
robes, beds, bakery, saddlery, kitchen, larder, scullery, water-house, 
laundry, poultry, pantry, and almonry, nine of each for her chamber. 
Her herbmant or gardener, received 100«. a-year ; her valet of the 
washing-house (called «ca/(/m^-house), 40«. ; her twenty-seven armour- 
bearers, or esquires, 143/. 4«. 4</. in all *, and her twenty-seven valets, 
93/. 15«. 6d, Her private-business agents were the clerk of the 
closet, or private secretary ; clerk of the signet ; and clerk of the 
jewels. For the maintenance of the whole of this establishment she 
paid 7/. per day to the treasurer of the king's household. The sums 
spent by the queen in personal adornment were trifling. The only 
entries that occur in the whole year's accounts are for 73/. I2s. 6d, to 
a Venetian merchant, for silk and cloth of gold for the queen ; and 
125/. 10«. to a goldsmith of London, for jewels and goldsmith's work 
done for her. On the other hand her charities were large, and seem 
to have been bestowed with equal kindness and judiciousness. She 
gave 200/. to one of her damsels as a marriage portion ; a larger 
sum, it will be observed, than she had spent on her own wardrobe 



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during the year. To three esquires of her household who had suffered 
from heavy infirmity by Divine Tiaitation she gaye 6/. 6«. 8<f., and 
13/. 6t. Sd, to two men of Newmarket, whose stable had been burnt 
whilst the queen was there. Her daily offering was 4<2., excepting on 
such days as were celebrated as festivals in the church. Among these 
solemn days she classed the anmyersaries of Henry V. and Catherine of 
France, the father and mother of the king. Her tenderness for her 
husband was shewn by the attempts she made to procure for him such 
diversions as were most likely to be of use to one of his peculiar tem- 
perament. 25/. 9«. were paid to Richard Bulstrode *' for wages and 
rewards to divers tailors and planters, for divers parcels and stuffs 
bought by the queen's special command, for a disguising made before 
the said king and queen at the manor of Pleasaunce, at the feast of 
Christmas 31<^." This manor of Pleasaunce was at Greenwich, and 
its great and little gardens are several times mentioned. Among the 
miscellaneous entries are payments for cloth of Rennes, and other 
things, for the baptismal font of the prince, and for the queen's offer- 
ings whilst she kept her chamber, and upon the ceremony of her puri- 
fication ; and also for glazing a window in the chapel of St. Mary de le 
Pewe* with two images of the king and queen kneeling and saluting 
the Virgin Mary, embellished with the arms of the king and the queen 
fiourished with flowers, and with the queen's word over against it. 
Margaret's emblem-flower was the daisy ; but the chroniclers have 
foiled to record her motto, and the tantalising allusion to it here serves 
only to awaken, without gratifying, curiosity. These are among the 
principal particulars in a document deserving more than the passing 
notice tiiat can here be bestowed upon it. 

* Our Lady of the Pewe is our Lady of Pity, an appellation given to 
an image of the Virgin sitting with the body of our Saviour extended 
across her lap. One of these images was in St. Stephen's College at 
Westminster, and is possibly the one here referred to. See Index to 
Sir Harris Nicolas' Privy-purse Expenses of Henry VIII. tub 
poce Pewe. 



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LETTER XXXIX. 

Anne Countess of Warwick to the House of Commons. 
A.D. 1471. 

[cotton MS. JULIUS B. XII. FOL. 317.] 

*4,f Anne countess of Warwick occupies an illustrious position 
amongst the female nobility of £ngland. She was the daughter, and 
ultimately the heiress of Richard Beauchamp earl of Warwick,* and 
transferred this earldom to her husband, Richard Neville earl of 
Montague and Salisbury, who became m her right the Earl of War- 
wick, so well known in the history of the wars of the roses as the King- 
maker. Her only children were two daughters ; who both became the 
wives of princes of the blood royal of England. Isabel the elder 
married George duke of Clarence, whose tragical murder by drowning 
in a butt of malmsey wine^ at the command of his own brother, 
Edward IV., is well known. He transmitted his evil destiny, along 
with the royal blood that gave rise to it, to his two children, Edward 
earl of Warwick, who was beheaded for his connexion with Perkin 
Warbeck's plot in 1499, and Margaret, the celebrated countess of 
Salisbury, who suffered a similar fiEU;e in 1541. The younger daughter 
of the Countess of Warwick was Anne, first the vnfe of the Lancastrian 
Frince of Wales, Edward son of Henry VI., and then of Richard duke 
of Gloucester. She was ultimately raised to the perilous dignity of 
queen-consort of England during the short and troubled reign of 
Richard III. ' 

The circumstances under which the present petition was penned 
were as follows: — When, in 1471, a bright but transient gleam of 
sunshine gilded the sinking fortunes of the Lancastrian party, the 
Countess of Warwick, with Margaret of Anjou and the Lady Anne of 
Warwick, the new-made bride of Prince Edward, set sail for England ; 
but scarcely a week had elapsed after their landing when the battle of 
Bamet put a period to their hopes. The unfortunate ladies fled for 

*■ She was bom at Caversham in Oxfordshire, on July 13, 1429, 
and became heiress of Warwick in 1449, on the death of her niece 
Anne, the only child of her deceased brother Edward. — Duodale's 
Baronage, vol. i. p. 248. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 101 

sanctuary to the conyent of Beaulien in Hampshire, which was 
endowed with ample privileges : but, though Edward IV. did not 
venture to violate its sanctity by seizing the person of the conntess, he 
set a strict guard over her, and thus transformed her asylum into a 
prison. Her immense possessions, as the rightfol heiress of the vast 
estates of Beauchamp and Spencer, excited the avarice of her two sons- 
in-law, the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester, and though in 1473 
she ventured to withdraw from her sanctuary at Beaulien, she was 
never restored to her inheritance; but it was divided between her 
daughters, with no more consideration of her rights than if she were 
dead.* In the third year of Henry VII., however, a new Act of Par- 
liament revoked this decree, as being *' against all reason, consdenct, 
and course of nature, and contrary to the laws of God and man,'' and, 
in consideration of her allegiance to the cause of Henry VI., restored 
all her possessions.** But this act of seeming justice was nullified by 
an arrangement between herself and the king, which had, doubtless, 
been privately made beforehand ; according to which, on the 13th of 
December the same year, 1487, she alienated the whole of her estates 
to the king and his heirs male for ever. No fewer than one hundred 
and eighteen manors and hundreds are recapitulated in the original 
deed of assignment.^^ Two years after this princely donation. King 
Henry generously allowed the aged countess the revenues of a single 
manor, that of Sutton in Warwickshire, for her support. She lived 
henceforth in such obscurity that the very date of her death is not 
known, except that it took place before Michaelmas 1493.** 



To the right worshipful and discreet Commons 
of this present Parliament. 

Sheweth unto your wisdoms and discretions the 
king's true liege woman, Anne countess of War- 

» Parliamentary rolls, 14 Edward IV. vol. vi. p. 100. 

»> Ibid, 3 Henry VII. vol. vi. p. 391 b. 

<^ In the Chapter-house, Westminster ; amongst the records of 
3 Henry VII. 

^ In that term the king paid 66/. lOs. Sd. to the creditors of Anne, 
late countess of Warwick. Brevia sub magna et prvoato sigillo^ 
1 Hen, VIL to 14 Hen, VJILfol, 43, Rolls-house. 



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102 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

wick, which never oflFended his most redoubted 
highness ; for she, immediately after the death of 
her lord and husband — on whose soul God have 
mercy — for none oflFence by her done, but dreading 
only trouble, being that time within this realm, 
entered into the sanctuary of Beaulieu for surety of 
her person, to dispose for the weal and health of the 
soul of her said lord and husband, as right and 
conscience required her so to do; making within 
five days, or near thereabouts, after her entry into 
the said sanctuary, her labours, suits, and means to 
the king's highness for her safeguard, to be had as 
diligently and effectually as her power would extend. 
She not ceasing, but after her power continiling in 
such labours, suits, and means, insomuch that, in 
absence of clerks, she hath written letters in that 
behalf to the king's highness with her own hand, 
and not only making such labours, suits, and means 
to the king's highness, soothly also to the queen's 
good grace, to my right redoubted lady the king's 
mother, to my lady the king's eldest daughter, to 
my lords the king's brethren, to my ladies the king's 
sisters, to my lady of Bedford, mother to the queen, 
and to other ladies noble of this realm ; in which 
labours, suits, and means, she hath continued 
hitherto, and so will continue, as she owes to do, 
till it may please the king, of his most good and 
noble grace, to have consideration that, during the 
life of her said lord and husband, she was covert 
baron, which point she remits to your great wis- 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 103 

doms, and that after his decease, all the time of her 
being in the said sailctaary, she hath duly kept her 
fidelity and liegeance, and obeyed the king's com- 
mandments. Howbeity it hath pleased the king's 
highness, by some sinister information to his said 
highness made, to direct his most dread letters to 
the abbot of the monastery of Beaulieu, with right 
sharp commandment that such persons as his high- 
ness sent to the said monastery should have guard 
and strait keeping of her person, which was and is 
to her great heart's grievance, she specially fearing 
that the privileges and liberties of the church, by 
such keeping of her person, might be interrupted 
and violated, where the privileges of the said 
sanctuary were never so largely attempted unto this 
time, as is said ; yet the said Anne and Countess, 
under protestations by her made, hath suffered strait 
keeping of her person and yet doth, that her fidelity 
and liegeance to the king's highness the better might 
be understood, hoping she might the rather have 
had largess to make suits to the king's highness in 
her own person for her livelihood and rightful 
inheritance, which livelihood and inheritance, with 
all revenues and profits* thereto pertaining, with her 
jointure also, and dower of the earldom of Salisbury, 
fully and wholly hath been restrained from her, 
from the time of the death of her said lord and 
husband unto this day. And forasmuch as our 
sovereign lord the king of his great grace hath set 
* Proventus in originaL 



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104 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

and assembled his high court of Parliament for 
reformations, right, and equity to all his subjects 
and liege people duly to be ministered, the said 
Anne and Countess humbly beseecheth your great 
wisdom to ponder and weigh in your consciences her 
right and true title of her inheritance, as the earl- 
dom of Warwick and Spencer's lands, to which she 
is rightfully born by lineal succession, and also her 
jointure and dower of the earldom of Salisbury 
aforesaid. And to shew her your benevolence, that 
by the king's good grace and authority of this his 
noble Parliament she may to her foresaid livelihood 
and rightful inheritance duly be restored and it 
enjoy, as the laws of Almighty God and of this 
noble realm, right, also, and conscience doth require ; 
beseeching heartily your great goodnesses, in the 
reverence of Almighty God and of his most blessed 
mother, will of grace to consider the poor estate she 
stands in, how in her own person she may not 
solicit the premises as she would, an she might, nor 
is of power any sufficient solicitor in this behalf to 
make; and though she might, as (she; may not, 
there is none that dare take it upon him ; to have 
also this poor bill in your tender remembrance, that 
your perfect charity and good will may solicit the 
eflFect of the same, which to do, her power at this 
time may not extend. And shall pray and do pray 
to God for you. 



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LETTER XL. 

Cecilia Duchess ofYork^ Mother of King Edward IV. ^ 
to the Mayor of Windsor, 

[hARL. MS. NO. 787, FOL. 2.] 

\* Cecilia, or, as she is sometimes called, Cicely, or Cecil, the 
mother of two English sovereigns, was the daughter of Ralph Neville 
earl of Westmoreland, and of his conntess Joanna, daughter of John 
of Gaunt duke of Lancaster, of whom mention has already heen 
made ; so that the mother of Edward IV. and Richard III. was also 
the great-granddaughter of Edward III. She had a numerous family, 
most of whom she survived, since her own death did not take place 
till May 31, 1495, the tenth year of King Henry VII. She died at 
the castle of Berkhampstead, and was interred by the side of her 
husband at Fotheringhay. In her last will she bequeathed to her 
daughter Anne, duchess of Exeter, her largest bed of baudekyn,* with 
a counterpane of the same. To her daughter Catherine, a traverse of 
blue satin. To her daughter Elizabeth, duchess of Suffolk, her car- 
riage-chair, and all the cushions, horses, and harnesses for the same, 
with all her palfreys. To her son-in-law, the Duke of Suffolk, a 
canopy or cloth of estate. To her son Humphrey, two altar-cloths of 
blue damask. To her son William, a traverse of white sarsenet. And 
to her daughter Anne, prioress of Syon nunnery, a book of Bona- 
venture.^ Her seal, bearing on the dexter half quarterly England and 
France, the arms royal of England, and on the sinister half, gules a 
saltier argent, is engraved by Sandford.^ 

The date of the foUovdng letters cannot be farther ascertained 
than that they were written during the reign of Edward IV. The 
first strongly manifests the high spirit with which the duchess 
asserted the claims of her deceased husband to the throne. In all but 
the name, the style is that of a queen-consort of England. 

*■ A sort of rich silk, said to be originally imported from Babylon. 
i> Dugdale's Baronage, vol. ii. p. 161 ; Sandford's Genealogical 
History, p. 387. 

*^ Genealogical History, p. 374. 

f2 



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106. LETTEKS OF ROYAL AND 

By the rightful inheritor's wife of the realm of 
England and of France, and lordship of Ireland, the 
king's mother, Duchess of York. . 

Trusty and well-heloved, we greet you well. 
And forasmuch as our beloved servant Richard 
Foster hath had the occupation of your steward, and 
done you good service in the same, and desireth to 
do in time coming, albeit he hath been hindered 
and put from the said oflBce, we, desiring his pro- 
motion and furtherance, pray you that you will have 
the said Richard preferred unto your said of&ce of 
your steward, and the rather at the contemplation of 
this our especial writing, wherein you shall do unto 
us right especial pleasure, and shall cause us to shew 
you the favour of our good ladyship therefor, in 
such things as we may do for you in time coming. 
Given under our signet, at the Priory of Merton, the 
23d day of November. 



LETTER XLI. 



Cecilia Duchess of York, Mother of Edward IV., to 
Dean William Wolflete. 

[historical MS. VOL. I. NO. 34. IN THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF 

DAWSON TURNER, Esa. Original.'] 

The king's mother. Duchess of York. 
Right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you 
well. And forasmuch as it is come unto our know- 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 107 

ledge that our livelihood within the counties of 
Suffolk, Essex, Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Hert- 
ford, is not duly surveyed nor approved to our 
behalf as it ought to be ; we, putting our trust in 
you in that behalf, considering you be our surveyor 
and great ofGcer in that country, charge you there- 
fore right straightly, as you will have our good lady* 
ship, to put you in faithful and true devoir to see 
it amended. And that you fail not hereof as you 
will avoid the awful peril that may ensue with our 
great displeasure and heavy ladyship. Given under 
our signet in our place at Baynard's Castle, in 
London, the 19th day of August. 



Cicely. 



To OTir right trusty and well-beloved master 
William Wolflete, dean of our college of Stoke, 
and surveyor of our lands within the comities of 
Suffolk, Essex, Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Hert- 
ford. 



LETTER XLIL 

Joanna Conway to Cecilia Duchess of York, 

[&0YAL LETTERS OP UNCERTAIN DATE. TOWER COLLECTION. 

Oriffinal,'] 

%* That the following letter was addressed to the mother of 
Edward IV. seems certain, from the fact that she was the only Duchess 
of York of the period who possessed any political influence. It must 
have been written after the accession of her son to the throne, since 
it found its way into the archives of Chancery. The Lord Aberga- 



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108 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

gaTenny complained of was Edward Neville, sixth son of Ralph earl of 
Westmoreland, who assumed the title on account of his marriage with 
the heiress of that barony. As he had been in fnvoor with the Lan- 
castrian kings, his quarrel with the petitioner probably originated in 
political persecution. 



To the most gracious and excellent princess the 
Duchess of York. 

Most piteouslv, and with incessant lamentation, 
complaineth unto your most gracious ladyship your 
continual and poor beadwoman Joanna Conway ; 
forasmuch as she hath been long in the miserous 
prison of Ludgate, at the suit of the right noble lord 
the Lord of Abergavenny, to her confusion and 
mortal destruction for ever, without your most 
mercyahle grace be benignly to her enlarged in that 
behalf. Wherefore pleaseth it your most excellent 
gracious ladyship the premises tenderly to consider, 
and for the relief of your said beseecher to send of 
your most abundant grace to the said Lord of Aber- 
gavenny, and to will and desire him to release and 
withdraw all such suits as he hath willed to be done 
against your said beseecher, as conscience and law 
of God requireth. And your said bead woman shall 
incessantly pray to God of his influent grace for to 
preserve your most benign and gracious estate, and 
to send your most royal estate many prosperous 
days. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 109 



LETTER XLIII. 

Elizabeth Sister of King Edward IV. to John 
Paston. 

[pASTON LETTBBS, VOL. II. APPENDIX, P. 293. J^oiii the Original 
Holograph,'] 

%* The following letter is the earliest holograph of any royal lady 
of England of which we have any record. It was probably written 
after the accession of Edward IV., on the occasion of a visit paid by 
Elizabeth to her brother's court. 

This princess was daughter of Richard duke of York, and wife of 
John de la Pole duke of Suffolk, son of the unfortunate Duke of 
Suffolk who fell a victim to popular hatred in the reign of Henry VI., 
and grandson of the celebrated , Geoffry Chaucer, the patriarch of 
English poetry. She was in such fovour with her brother King 
Richard III., that after the death of his own son he declared her eldest 
son, John earl of Lincoln, heir to the throne of England ; passing 
over alike the daughters of Edward IV. and his own brothers and 
elder sisters. But the evil destiny which blighted the royal stem of 
the white rose during the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII. soon 
overtook her fiunily. Her son Earl John was slain in 1487, in the 
battle of Stoke, by which he hoped to have placed the crown on the 
head of his cousin Edward Plantagenet, the nearest male heir to the 
crown. Elizabeth's second son, Edmund, fell a victim to the jealous 
policy of Henry VIII. in 1513 ; and her youngest son, Richard, left 
his country, and, joining the troops of France, was slain at the battle 
of Pavia.* 



Master Paston, 

I pray you that it may please you to leave your 
lodging for three or four days, till I may be pur- 
veyed of another, and I shall do as much to your 

• Sandford's Genealogical History, p. 400 ; Dugdale's Baronage, 
vol. i. p. 191. 



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110 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

pleasure. For God*s sake say me not nay ; and I 
pray you recommend me to my lord-chamberlain. 
Your friend, 

Elizabeth. 

Unto John Paston, in haste. 

Endorsed in Latin, in the hand-writing of Sir 
John Paston, " Letter of the Duchess of Suffolk.'' 



Several kindly notices of the Princess Elizabeth occur in the privy- 
purse expenses of her niece, Queen Elizabeth of York. 

May 1502.— Item. To John Williams, Thomas Nehnes, Hugh 
Dolbyn, Edward Davy, and John FitzwiUiams, to every of them 
3«. Ad.f in reward for giving attendance at the house of the Duchess of 
Suffolk, at Stepney. 

January 1503. — Item. For a pair of buskins for the Duchess of 
Suffolk, 48. 

Item. To William Gentilman, page of the queen's chamber, for 
carrying of two bucks from Windsor to London, the 24th day of the 
said month, one to the Duchess of Suffolk, &c., 5«. 4d. 



LETTER XLIV. 

Elizabeth Woodville^ Queen of Edward /F., to Sir 

William Stoner. 
[royal letters temp. EDWARD iv. TOWER OF LONDON. Original,'] 

*^* Of Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful queen of Edward IV., 
only two autographs are known to be in existence, both of which are 
among the state records in the Tower of London — one affixed to the 
present letter, the other to a letter-patent addressed to her husband 
Edward IV., on behalf of one Henry Grey and Alice his wife, te- 
nants of hers, who being in danger of being impleaded in the king's 
court, the queen refers the matter to the decision of that court ; with a 
cautious reserve, however, that, if a similar case should again occur, 
she should enjoy the rights of her own jurisdiction. 

The present letter bears no date, but it is proved to be Elizabeth 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. Ill 

Woodville's by a comparison of its signatnre with that ahieady men- 
tioned. Both epistles evince that a pertinacious cling;ing to her 
queenly rights, real or imaginary, was a prominent trait in her 
character. Sir William Stoner, to whom it is addressed, filled the 
office of constable of Wallingford castle and other royal demesnes.* 



By the Queen. 

Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. 
And whereas we understand, by report made unto 
us at this time, that you have taken upon you now 
of late to make masteries^ within our forest and 
chace of Barnwood and Excill, and there, in con- 
tempt of us, uncourteously to hunt and slay our 
deer within the same, to our great marvel and dis- 
pleasure ; we will you wit that we intend to sue 
such remedy therein as shall accord with my lord's 
laws. And whereas wefarthermore understand that 
you purpose, under colour of my lord's commission, 
in that behalf granted unto you as you say, hastily to 
take the view and rule of our game of deer within 
our said forest and chase; we will that you shew 
unto us or our council your said commission, if any 
such you have, and, in the mean season, that you 
spare of hunting within our said forest or chace, as 
you will answer at your peril. Given under our 
signet, at our manor of Greenwich, the first day of 

August. 

Elizabeth. 

To our trusty and weU-beloved Sir 
William Stoner, Knight. 

» Patent roll, 4 Henry VII. memb..4. 
^ Maistries in the original. 



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113 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 



LETTER XLV. 

Margaret Countess of Oxford to John Paston, a.d. 
1486. 

[paston letters, tol. II. p. 340. From the Origindl.'] 

*^t* The letter that now presents itself affords one out of many 
striking pictures of the rancour and bitterness which infused itself even 
into the gentle heart of woman during the civil strifes of the fifteenth 
century. Yet few women had suffered more severely in these contests 
than its writer. Her husband, John de Vere earl of Oxford, was a 
zealous Lancastrian, and by his valorous exertions at the battle of 
Bamet had almost turned the fortunes of that eventful day. After 
having sustained many perils and wanderings, he was at length taken 
prisoner by the servants of Edward IV., and closely confined in the 
castle of Hams in Picardy. Margaret was equally obnoxious to the 
York party, both as being the wife of the Earl of Oxford and the 
sister of Richard earl of Warwick, the King-maker, and, though 
descended from a race whose blood had often blended with that of 
English royalty, she was reduced to the necessity of working with her 
needle to obtain a livelihood for herself, till at length Edward IV. 
granted her the munificent sum of 100/. per annum to save her from 
actual starvation.* To add to her sufferings, her only child John died 
in the Tower during his father's exile. The Earl of Oxford contrived, 
however, to make his escape from captivity. He joined the party of 
Henry of Richmond, and, by his extraordinary personal valour, 
greatly contributed to the victory of Bosworth Field, which again 
placed a Lancastrian on the throne, and made this brave and faithful 
adherent one of the principal nobles of England. Margaret shared his 
exultation and his thirst for vengeance, too, as her letter proves. The 
Lord Lovell, against whom it is directed, had at first taken sanctuary 
at St. John's of Colchester ; whence he privately withdrew, and, in 
spite of the vigilance of Margaret and her partisans, he escaped into 
Burgundy. Still faithful to the cause of the white rose, he joined the 
insurrection of Lambert SimneQ, and was slain at the battle of Stoke. 
In the Bodleian library is a letter from the husband of Margaret to 

« This grant was confirmed by Richard III. Patent roll, 3 R. III. 
fol. 5. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 113 

John Paston, about the a^tare of some of the adherents of Lord 
Lovell.* 

A sabsequent letter of the conntefls in fkyonr of one of her old 
tenranta is also in the Paston Letters.^ 



Right trusty and well-beloved, 

I recommend me unto you ; and forasmuch as 
I am credibly informed that Francis, late lord 
Lovell, is now of late resorted into the Isle of Ely, 
to the intent, by all likelihood, to find the ways and 
means to get him shipping and passage in your 
coasts, or else to resort again to sanctuary, if he can 
or may. 

I therefore heartily desire and pray you, and, 
nevertheless, in the king's name straitly charge you, 
that you in all goodly haste endeavour yourself, 
that such watch or other means be used and had 
in the ports and creeks, and other places where you 
think necessary by your discretion, to the letting of 
his said purpose ; and that you also use all the ways 
you can or may by your wisdom to the taking of 
the same late Lord Lovell ; and what pleasure you 
may do to the king's grace in this matter, I am sure 
is not to you unknown. And God keep you. 

Written at Lavenham,*^ the 19th day of May. 

Margaret Oxford. 

To my right tmstj and well-beloved 
John Paston, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. 

• Douce MS. 393, fol. 73. •» Vol. v. p. 409. « Co. Suffolk. 



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\ 
114 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER XLVI. 

Elizabeth of York^ Queen of Henry VII,, to Queen 
Isabella of Castile, a.d. 1497. 

[egebton MS. 616, FOL. 7. Original Latin.'] 

*;ic* The autographs of Elizabeth of York are but few in number. 
The editor is not aware of any letter of hers now remaining, excepting 
the one here given and another in the same volume of the Egerton 
MSS. fol. 9, of a similar character, addressed to Ferdinand king of 
Aragon, dated August 1, 1498.^ It will be observed, that the cele- 
brated Isabella of Castile is here called Elizabeth, those two names 
being indiscriminately adopted a few centuries ago. 



To the most serene and potent princess the Lady 
Elizabeth, by God's grace queen of Castile, Leon, 
Aragon, Sicily, Granada, &c., our cousin and dearest 
relation, Elizabeth, by the same grace queen of 
England and France, and lady of Ireland, wishes 
health and the most prosperous increase of her 
desires. 

Although we before entertained singular love and 
regard to your highness above all other queens in 

• When Sir Harris Nicolas wrote his valuable memoir of Eliza- 
beth of York, prefixed to her privy-purse expenses, he observed it as a 
singular fact, that not a single letter of hers was known to be in 
existence. The present document was then slumbering amongst the 
Spanish archives, whence it was brought over to England in 1836, by 
Don Paseval de Gayangos. Fenn has printed a letter from her in the 
Paston Letters, vol. v. p. 333, about the award of a manor to Simon 
Bryant. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 115 

the world, as well for the consangainity and necessary 
intercourse which mutually take place between us, 
as also for the eminent dignity and virtue by which 
your said majesty so shines and excels that your 
most celebrated name is noised abroad and diffused 
every where ; yet much more has this our love 
increased and accumulated by the accession of the 
most noble affinity which has recently been cele- 
brated between the most illustrious Lord Arthur 
prince of Wales, our eldest son, and the most illus- 
trious princess the Lady Catherine, the infanta, your 
daughter. Hence it is that, amongst our other cares 
and cogitations, first and foremost we wish and desire 
from our heart that we may often and speedily hear 
of the health and safety of your serenity, and of the 
health and safety of the aforesaid most illustrious 
Lady Catherine, whom we think of and esteem as 
our own daughter, than which nothing can be more 
grateful and acceptable to us. Therefore we request 
your serenity to certify of your estate, and of that of 
the aforesaid most illustrious Lady Catherine our 
common daughter. And if there be any thing in our 
power which would be grateful or pleasant to your 
majesty, use us and ours as freely as you would your 
own ; for, with most willing mind, we offer all that 
we have to you, and wish to have all in common 
with you. We should have written you the news of 
our state, and of that of this kingdom, but the most 
serene lord the king, our husband, will have written 
at length of these things to your majesties. For the 



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116 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

rest may your majesty fare most happily according 
to your wishes. 

From our palace of Westminster, 3d day of 
December, 1497. 

Elizabeth R. 

To the most serene and potent princess the Lady 
Elizabeth, by God's grace queen of Castile, Leon, 
Aragon, Sicily, Granada, &c., onr cousin and dear- 
est kinswoman. 



LETTER XLVII. 

Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond, Mother of 
King Henry VII. y to Richard Shirley, a.d. 
vers. 1501. 

[cotton MS. VESPASIAN, F. XIII. AKT. 85, FOL. 74. Original,'] 

*4e* Of Margaret countess of Richmond and Derby, the celebrated 
ancestress of our Tudor sovereigns, little need here be said. The able 
and very interesting memoir of this lady recently published by Miss 
Halsted, contains almost all the information about her which historic 
research has hitherto elicited. The former of the two letters here 
given has not been printed before, and is little remarkable, except as 
shewing the activity with ^hich Margaret intermeddled in public 
affairs. The latter is printed by Miss Halsted.^ It is inserted here 
because the illustrious position occupied by its writer seemed to 
necessitate the introduction of a more lengthy specimen of her epis- 
tolary powers amongst the ^* Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies 
of England.'' The date is fixed by Miss Halsted in 1501, from the 
allusion to the elect bishop of Ely, Richard Redman, who was trans- 
lated to tiie see of Ely from that of Exeter in that year. The signa- 

• P. 211. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 117 

tnre of Margaret R. was always adopted by the Countess, to shew, 
we presume, that if she were not a queen she thought that she ought 
to have been.* 



Margarbt R. 
Richard Shirley, 

We send unto you at this time the king's ser- 
vant, clerk of the market, this bearer for ordinance 
and devising of victuals, as well for man as beast, 
within our town there ; willing you to help and 
assist him in the same the best you can, and there- 
upon to do the execution thereof as you tender our 
pleasure. Written at the manor of Hatfield, the 
23dday of July. 

Te our servant Richard Shirley, 
bailiff of our town of Ware. 

* A few documents relating to this interesting lady, unnotioed by 
Miss Halsted, may here be named. In the Chapter-house, West- 
minster, is an original Latin grant to '' the lord king her most dearly 
beloved son, ' ' in token of the maternal and cordial love' ' she bears him, 
of the manor of Working in Surrey, reserving only a knight's office to 
her dear cousin Charles duke of Somerset. The date is October 2Sth, 
210 Henry VII. (1505). The style adopted is " Margaret countess of 
Richmond and Derby, most humble mother of the most excellent 
prince the Lord Henry VII.'' The seal is, quarterly, England and 
France surmounted by a coronet of alternate roses and fleurs-de-lis. 
The legend is considerably broken. It seems to have been [Sigillum] 
Margaretse com [itissae Richmondiee et Derb]iie due. Sanicet matfris 
regis Henrici septimi]. Amongst Cole's MS. collections, Additional 
MS. 5342, pp. 304-7, are curious particulars of the foundation of her 
lectureship at Cambridge in 1503 ; MS. 5850, foL 44, contains some 
Latin verses to her memory ; MS. 5813, fol. 114, two letters to her 
from the University of Cambridge ; and Cole MS. 159, foL 223 b, the 
vow of celibacy into which she entered. Grants of lands, privilege8,&c. , 
to her abound on the Patent rolls, and other records of Henry VIL 



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118 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER XLVIII. 

Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond to her Son, 
Henry VIL a.d. 1501. 

[HOWARD LETTERS, P. 155. Ffom the Holograph,'] 

My dearest and only desired joy in this world, 

With my most hearty loving blessings and hum- 
ble commendations I pray our Lord to reward and 
thank your grace, for that it hath pleased your 
highness so kindly and lovingly to be content to 
write your letters of thanks to the French king, for 
my great matter, that so long hath been in suit, as 
Master Welby hath shewed me your bounteous 
goodness is pleased. I wish, my dear heart, an 
my fortune be to recover it, I trust you shall well 
perceive I shall deal towards you as a kind, loving 
mother ; and, if I should never have it, yet your 
kind dealing is to me a thousand times more than all 
that good I can recover, an all the French king's 
might be mine withal. My dear heart, an it may 
please your highness to license Master Whitstone,* 
for this time, to present your honourable letters, and 
begin the process of my cause — for that he so well 
knoweth the matter, and also brought me the 
writings from the said French king, with his other 
letters to his parliament at Paris — it should be 

* Whytstonga in the original. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADI£S. 119 

greatly to my help, as I think : but all will I remit 
to your pleasure. And if I be too bold in this, or 
any my desires, I humbly beseech your grace of 
pardon, and that your highness take no displeasure. 
My good king, I have now sent a servant of 
mine into Kendall, to receive such annuities as be 
yet hanging upon the account of Sir William Wall, 
ray lord's chaplain, whom I have clearly discharged ; 
and if it will please your majesty's own heart, at 
your leisure, to send me a letter, and command me 
that I suffer none of my tenants be retained with no 
man, but that they be kept for my lord of York, 
your fair sweet son,* for whom they be most meet, 
it shall be a good excuse for me to my lord and 
husband;^ and then I may well, and without dis- 
pleasure, cause them all to be sworn, the which shall 
not after be long undone. And where your grace 
shewed your pleasure for * * * *, the bastard of 
King Edward's, sir, there is neither that, nor any 
other thing, I may do by your commandment, but I 
shall be glad to fulfil to my little power with God's 
grace. And, my sweet king, Fielding, this bearer, 
hath prayed me to beseech you to be bis good lord 
in a matter he sueth for to the Bishop of Ely, now 
(as we hear) elect, for a little office nigh to London. 
Verily, my king, he is a good and wise, well-ruled 
gentleman, and full truly hath served you well, 
accompanied as well at your first as all other occa- 

• Afterwards Henry VIII. 

^ Her third husband, Thomas lord Stanley. 



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1^0 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

sions^ and that caasetli us to be the more bold and 
gladder also to speak for him; howbeit, my lord 
marquis hath been very low to him in times past, 
because he would not be retained with him; and 
truly, my good king, he helpeth me right well in 
such matters as I have business with in these parts. 
And, my dear heart, I now beseech you of pardon of 
my long and tedious writing, and pray Almighty 
God to give you as long, good, and prosperous life 
as ever had prince, and as hearty blessings as I can 
ask of God. 

At Calais town, this day of St. Anne's,* that I 
did bring into this world my good and gracious 
prince, king, and only beloved son. 

By your humble servant, beadwoman, and mother, 

Margaret R. 

To the King's Grace. 



LETTER XLIX. 

Catherine ofAragon^ as Princess of Wales, to her 

Father Ferdinand 11. a.d. 1506. 

[egebton MS. 616, FOL. 27. Holograph Spanish,'] 

*^* The series of letters which we have now the pleasure of pre- 
senting to the reader has been hitherto entirely unknown ; the larger 
number of them haying been brought into England only about nine 
years ago, and the remainder, though they have long slumbered among 
our national records, haying been unnoticed by any historian or biogra- 
pher of Catherine of Aragon — an extraordinary circumstance, con- 
sidering that there is scarcely a character among the female royalty 
of England invested with higher interest than this high-minded and 

* July 26th. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 121 

unfbrtanate woman. Perhaps one canse of their neglect has been the 
difficulty which attends the deciphering of them, since they are princi- 
pally Spanish, and entirely in the handwriting of Catherine, which, 
though bold and free, is careless, and not always easy to read. It is 
to Catherine of Aragon, as the widow of prince Arthur and the betrothed 
of Henry prince of Wales, that our attention must now be turned. 
She and prince Arthur had corresponded for some time before the 
arrival of the infimta in England, and the loring strain in which 
they addressed each other may be judged of by the following epistle 
from the prince to haBflane^, It is translated from the Latin original; 
neither of the parties understanding the native tongue of the other, 
their courtship was carried on in Latin : — 

Most illustrious and most excellent lady, my dearest spouse, I wish 
you very much health, with my hearty commendation. 

I have read the most sweet letters of your highness lately given to 
me, from which I have easily perceived your most entire love to me. 
Truly those your letters, traced by your own hand, have so delighted 
me, and have rendered me so cheerful and jocund, that I fancied I 
beheld your highness and conversed with and embraced my dearest 
wife. I cannot tell you what an earnest desire I feel to see your high- 
ness, and how vexatious to me is this procrastination about your 
coming. I owe eternal thanks to your excellence that you so lovingly 
correspond to this my so ardent love. Let it continue, I entreat, as it 
has begun ; and, like as I cherish your sweet remembrance night and 
day, so do you preserve my name ever fresh in your breast. And let 
your coming to me be hastened, that instead of being absent we may 
be present with each other, and the love conceived between us and the 
wished-for joys may reap their proper fruit. 

Moreover I have done as your illustrious highness enjoined me, 
that is to say, in commending you to the most serene lord and lady 
the king and queen my parents, and in declaring your filial regard 
towards them, which to them was most pleasing to hear, especially 
from my lips. I also beseech your highness that it may please you to 
exercise a similar good office for me, and to commend me with hearty 
good will to my most serene lord and lady your parents ; for I greatly 
value, venerate, and esteem them, even as though they were my own, 
and wish them all happiness and prosperity. 

May your highness be ever fortunate and happy, and be kept safe 
and joyful, and let me know it often and speedily by your letters, 
VOL. I. G 



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122 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

which will be to me most joyous. From our castle of Ludlow, 3d 
none« (5th) of October, a.d. 1499. 

Your highness' most loying spouse, 

Arthur, Prince of Wales, Duke 
OF Cornwall, etc. 

Eldest son of the King. 
To the most illustrious and excellent 
princess, the Lady Catherine, princess of 
Wales, duchess of Cornwall, &c., my 
most entirely beloved spouse.* 

The date of this letter, it will be perceived, is October 1499, neaiiy 
two years before Catherine gratified her impatient bridegroom with her 
presence. He seems to have consoled himself by writing to her very 
frequently, however. There is in the MS. just quoted another of hifi 
amorous hillets^doux, written on the Ist of November, 1499, scarcely 
a month after the one here given,^ and also an affectionate letter from 
him to Queen Isabella the mother of his betrothed, acknowledging 
the receipt of autograph letters from her full of kindness.*: 

Notwithstanding the eager wishes of the prince, Ferdinand and 
Isabella still put off the evil hour in which they should be called upon 
, to separate from their young and lovely child. At length, in January 
1500, doctor de Puebla, the Spanish ambassador in England, wrote 
to his royal master and mistress, setting forth the merits of prince 
Arthur, and espetnally recounting his advantages in uniting the claimg 
of both the rival branches of the English royal family, and very 
respectfdlly urging that, since he would soon be fourteen years of age, 
it was high time the senora princess should come over.<* The autumn 
of the year 1500 was therefore fixed upon,* and on the 20th of June 

« Egerton MS. No. 616, fol. 10. Although Arthur addressed 
Catherine as his spouse, her conmiission to Puebla to complete the 
marriage contract was not given till December 20th of this year. In 
it she signs herself " The Princess of Wales."— Cotton, MS, Vesp. 
C. XILfol, 196. 

b Egerton MS. 616, fol. 11. « Ibid. fol. 12. 

^ Letter of Puebla to Ferdinand and Isabella. Original Spanish. 
Egerton MS. 616, fol. 16^ 

^ Agreement between Ferdinand and Isabella, and Henry VII. 
Cotton. MS. Vespasian, C. XII. fol. 204. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 123 

in that year Henry VII. wrote to express his pleasure at Catherine's 
approaching arrival. A month afterwards, however, he received 
tidings that the voyage of the infiEmta was again delayed. Upon this 
lie wrote a very earnest epistle to the Spanish monarch ; expressed his 
great affection for the princess, whom he assured them he loved as his 
own daughter and had the greatest desire to see ; said how disappointed 
he had heeu that her journey had been postponed from S^tember to 
October, as he had made great preparations for her honourable recep- 
tion, and still more so when, on account of the danger of the voyage, 
it was thought es^edient still farther to delay. As, however, he 
would not in any wise wish her to incur perils by sea, he consented 
that she should remain in Spain till tiie following summer.* On the 
17th of August, 1^1, Catherine of Aragon at length set sail for the 
shores of England. ^5^ I 

Very extensive preparations were made for her reception. She 
was to have been met at Gravesend by the lord steward and a number 
of other gentlemen and ladies, in sundry barks, who should there hail 
and salute her ** in the best manner they ean, and that the minstrels fiul 
not to do their part as accordeth to them. And as soon as her ship 
shall be fallen to an anchor, the said lord steward and all other nobles 
shall go into the ship wherein the said princess shall be, and after the 
king's commendations made by my said lord steward, the queen's by 
her chamberlain, and the prince's by his chamberlain, in such form 
as they shall be by tiiem commanded, the said prior of Canterbury 
shall say the proposition ; after the which my said lord steward shall 
shew or cause to be shewed to the said princess that the king's grace, 
tenderly considering her great and long pain and travel upon the sea, 
would full gladly that she had landed and lodged for the night at 
Gravesend : but forasmuch as the plague was there of late, and that it 
is not yet clean purged thereof, the king would not that she should be 
put in any such adventure or danger, and therefore his grace hath 
commanded the said bark to be prepared and arrayed for her lodging. 
Wherefore he shall on the king's behalf desire her, for her more ease 
and relief, to depart out of her own ship into the said bark, declaring to 
her also that in the same she shall be conveyed to the city of London. 
And if it shall please the said princess so to do, my said lord steward 
shall see that she shall be well and honourably entreated and enter- 
tained in every behalf, and that she be served in the same bark of her 
diets and appurtenances ; and though the said princess will not in any 

^ Egerton MS. 616, fol. 14. Original Latin. 



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124 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

wise depart out of her ship into the said bark before such time as she 
shall be straight conveyed unto the city, the king's commandment yet 
is that she have the said diets and all such victuals and wines as be 
provided for her sent her in her ship, and there served with the same/' 
Many nobles and prelates besides the ladies were appointed to meet 
her at different stages of her journey.* 

Adverse destiny, however, willed it otherwise ; for, " the impatient 
winds of that coast seem to have been greatly aggrieved, and not 
peaceably to suffer the sore-desired passage of the said princess to 
the coasts of England \'* ** whereupon they cruelly, with right great 
hugeness of storms and tempest, opposed with their outrageous blasts 
the clothes (sails) of the said ships, enhanced their masts out of 
their sockets, distroubled their tackling, and all their whole weighing ; 
the perilous seas with waves so fearfully wrought and areared, that 
the rulers and crafty mariners ** ** thought to some of their own lately 
forsaken havens they should return their course, where within short 
season it contented Almighty God that more pleasant winds should 
goodly rule the journeys of the clear airs above, through whose help 
and aid to the English ports they were right shortly conveyed, and 
fortunately they arrived at Plymouth, far in the country of the west.*' 
The particulars of the reception of Catherine and her marriage 
with Arthur are well known ; but the brief space of six months de- 
prived the infanta of her young husband, and left her, in April 1502, a 
widow and an exile in a foreign land. Earnest suit was made to the 
king her father to procure her hand for the duke of Calabria, son of 
Frederick king of Naples,'* but Henry VII., unwilling to relinquish 
her inmiense dowry, prevailed upon Ferdinand to permit her to be 
contracted to his remaining son Henry; The ceremony of betroth- 
ment took place on the 26th of December, 1503. Ferdinand pro- 
fessed that this connexion was very agreeable to him, though it is 
more than probable that the difficulty of obtaining the restitution of 
the infanta and her dower, without coming to an open breach with 
the king of England, was the most powerful argument in procuring 
his assent to a marriage which the opinions of the times condemned 
as incestuous. 

Amongst the state records of the period is a very curious volume of 
instructions given to, and reports afforded by the English ambassadors 
sent to Aragon in the year 1505. It is written in the form of 

• Harleian MS. 69, fol. 40, et seq. 

•> Royal letters, vol. A. IV, 10, fol. 16, Rolls-house. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 125 

question and answer, the queries being proposed before they left Eng- 
land, and blanks left which were filled up by the ambassadors : they 
report that the king of Aragon was much concerned for the loss of 
his wife Isabella of Castile, who died on the 26th of November, 1504, 
but that he had said to them that, ''as to the conclusion of the 
espousals betvrixt the noble lord the prince of Wales and my daughter 
the lady Catherine, it is right greatly unto my comfort ; for often- 
times, when that I am troubled in my mind for the death of my queen, 
and with other causes, it right greatly rejoiceth me that I am assured 
that my daughter shall be married unto so noble a prince, and that 
she shall have so noble a father-in-law as my brother of England/' > 
The ambassadors proceed, with much quaint gravity, to inform their 
master that the larger portion of the common people in Spain are 
utterly ignorant of the existence of any other country besides their 
own; but they add thatsucU of them as had been made partakers 
of the erudite information that there did exist other nations under 
the sun greatly rejoiced at the contract with England. ** One of 
the formal queries proposed to the ambassadors was as follows : — 
" Item, what speech is there of the marriage betwixt my lord prince 
and the lady Catherine, and how they take the same, and what re- 
joicing they take thereof?" To this the reply was, — "Your grace 
shall understand that the king himself, and other lords and nobles 
of that land, right greatly rejoiceth the aforesaid conclusion of 
marriage, as that they do say ; and that thereby they do trust for to 
have your succour if that they shall have need of your grace and of 
your land ; and they be desirous, an it pleased Grod, that my lord the 
prince and my lady the princess were so near unto the crown of Castile 
and Leon, and all these lands, as the archduke and his queen is ;^ 
for every man and woman of the realm that do know my lady the 
princess favour and love her more than any other of the king's children. 
Notwithstanding, after the decease of my lord the prince Arthur, 
on whose soul we beseech Almighty God to have mercy, and before 
the conclusion made betwixt my lord the prince that now is and the 
lady princess, much labour was made unto the king her father and the 
queen her mother that the said lady princess might be married unto 
the duke of Calabria, the which is now in the court of Spain ; and. 
he was son unto the king don Frederick of Naples, the which of late 
deceased in France ; and this marriage they would have made to the 
intent that, after the decease of the king of Aragon that now is, that 

• Royal letters, vol. A. IV. 10. fol. 4. «> Ibid. fol. 15. 

^ Philip of Austria and Joanna of Castile. 



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126 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

the said duke of Calabria and the princess should have been king and 
queen of Naples/'* 

From the same record^ we find that the June of that year, 1505, 
had been fixed upon for the marriage of Henry and Catherine, but 
for some unknown reason it did not then take place. 

The two following letters were written in the September of that 
year. They are short, but interesting as developing a prominent 
feature in Catherine's character — ^her constant and kindly regard for 
her inferiors. The Spanish of the princess \s remarkably pure and 
correct ; the orthography of that language, being much more settled 
than our own at the same period, differs comparatively little from 
modem Spanish. 



Most high and most puissant lord, 

It is known to your highness how donna Maria 
de Salazar was lady to the queen my lady, who is in 
blessed glory, and how her highness sent her to 
come with me ; and in addition to the service which 
she did to her highness, she has served me well, and 
in all this has done as a worthy woman. Wherefore 
I supplicate your highness that, as well on account 
of the one service as the other, you would command 
her to be paid, since I have nothing wherewith to 
pay her, and also because her sister, the wife of 
Monsieur d'Aymeria, has in view for her a marriage 
in Flanders, of which she cannot avail herself, nor 
hope that it can be accomplished, without knowing 
what the said donna Maria has for a marriage- 
portion. 

« Royal letters, vol. A. IV. 10,fol. 16, Rolls-house. The duke of 
Calabria here referred to was Ferdinand, whose father, Frederick III. 
of Naples, died at Tours, in France, in 1504, having been deprived of 
his dominions by Louis XII. and Ferdinand of Aragon. Young 
Ferdinand was taken captive, and long detained in Aragon to prevent 
his vindicating his hereditary rights, 
k FoL 20. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 127 

And thus I myself supplicate your highness to 
command her to be favoured, that she may recover 
that which her father captain Salazar gave her, and 
that which belonged to her of her property. And in 
reference to a privilege which your highness did 
the favour to grant to captain Salazar of two hun- 
dred milreas as a pension for him, and after his days 
for this his daughter, that your highness would 
command entire justice to be observed towards her, 
and, because I wished it, would send a power to 
Martin Sanchez de Camudio to recover all that 
belonged to her. Therefore I supplicate your high- 
ness that you will send to command him, because he 
is near the house of her father, and may be able to 
negotiate it well. In all that which has been said 
your highness will do me most signal favour, and in 
causing it to be done quickly, in order that donna 
Maria de Salazar may not lose this marriage, which 
is most good and honourable. Our Lord guard the 
life and most royal estate of your highness, and 
increase it as I desire. 

From Durham [house], the eighth of September. 
The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands. 

The Princess of Wales. 

To the most high and most puissant lord the (king) 
my lord. 

Endorsed, ''To his highness from the Princess 
of Wales, 8th of September, 1505." 



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128 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER L. 

Catherine of Aragon^ as Princess of Wales ^ to her 
Father y Ferdinand II, a.d. 1505. 

[egerton MS. 616, FOL. 28. Original Spanish.']^ 

Most high and most puissant lord, 

John de Ascuycia, ray servant, bearer of this 
present, is going to you for certain business, of 
which he will inform your highness concerning 
donna Maria de Salazar, a lady of my house, for a 
remedy; as your highness will see by my letter. 
He has served me much since I came into England. 
He has a brother in Castile ; he told me that he is 
a person in whom there is every merit. I suppli- 
cate your highness to send to give him a place in a 
captainship of men-at-arms, by which your highness 
will be better served, in which I shall receive most 
signal favour. In this, as in the other affairs which 
he has in charge, let him be greatly favoured. Our 
Lord guard the life and most royal estate of your 
highness, and increase it as I desire. 

From Durham House, 8th of September, 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands. 

The Princess of Wales. 

To the most high and most puissant lord the 
king my lord. ^ 

^ The subscription is in the handwriting of the princess, but not the 
signature. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 129 



LETTER LI. 

Catherine of Aragon^ as Princess of Wales^ to her 
Father, Ferdinand II. a.d. vers. 1604. 

[rotal letters, vol. b. III. 7, FOL. 54 b, rolls-house.] 

%* The date of the present letter Ss uncertain, but it must have 
been written after the year 1504, when Isabella of Castile died. 
It probably belongs to the same period as the two preceding. It is 
printed from a contemporaneous translation in the handwriting of the 
early part of the sixteenth century. Its authenticity is proved by 
t^e fact that in the same volume there are two similar translations, in 
ttie same handwriting, of letters of Catherine of Aragon, the originals 
of both of which are in existence, and which prove on comparison to 
be very faithfully rendered. 



Right high and right mighty lord, 

Your highness knoweth how that there came 
hither with me six ladies, the which have served me 
right well and with much necessity, without I giving 
them one maravedi. Some of them were with the 
queen my lady (who have the holy joy), and they 
served her a long time; and* for that it is reason that 
they should marry, and I have nothing for to give to 
them and to help them, I beseech your highness for 
to do me a grace, and that you will command to 
give unto their marriages, and that you will please 
for to write unto me the sum that your grace shall 
be pleased and served for to give them, for that I 

g2 



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150 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

may make answer unto them that shall move of 
marriages unto them: and therefore I kiss the hands 
of your highness. 

Humble servant of your highness, 
that kiss his hands, 

The Princess of Wales. 



LETTER LII. 

Catherine of Ar agon, as Princess of Wales, to Iter 
Father, Ferdinand II. a.d. 1505. 

[cotton. MS. VBSPAMAN, c. XII. FOii. 207. Holograph Spanish.J 

%'** Catherine of' Aragon was very unhappy in England^ Paebla^ 
her father's ambassador, a cold-hearted politician, paid little attention 
to her feelings in his wish to conciliate Henry VIL This man was 
high in favour with Ferdinand.* The English king had a great re* 
gard for him,*> and between the two the poor princess was treated with 
much neglect. Of this she bitterly complains in the following letter^ 
the date of which, from internal evidence, is clearly DecembcF, 1505,. 
although it has been by mistake headed as written in 1501. <^ It will 
be observed that the princess speaks of having been ill for two months 
of a tertian fever, and in a letter written in April, 1506, she says she 
has been ill for six months. That this illness was the tertian fever i» 
proved by another letter written in October, 1506, reporting her re- 
covery from that disease. 

The present letter certainly feU into the hands of Henry VII. or his 
council, for a translation of it, in a contemporaneous hand, is found 
amongst the regal records in the Chapter-house.*^ 

• Chapter-house records, voL A. IV. 10, fol. 35, Rolls-homse. 

»»EgertonMS. 616,fol.31. 

« The date of 1501 is about as absurd as the statement in the Cot« 
tonian Catalogue that it was probably written to Arthur prince of 
Wales ! 

•» Vol. B* III. 7, fol. 55. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 131 

Most high and most puissant lord. 

Hitherto I have not wished to let your high- 
ness know the affairs here, that I might not 
give you annoyance, and also thinking that they 
would improve; but it appears that the con- 
trary is the case, and that each day my troubles 
increase ; and all this on account of the doctor de 
Puebla, to whom it has not sufficed that from 
the beginning he transacted a thousand falsities 
against the service of your highness, but now 
he has given me new trouble; and because I be- 
lieve your highness will think that I complain 
without reason, I desire to tell you all that has 



Your highness shall know, as I have often 
written to you, that since I came into England I ^ 
have not had a single maravedi, except a certain 
sum which was given me for food, and this such a 
sum that it did not suffice without my having many 
debts in London ; and that which troubles me more 
is to see my servants and maidens so at a loss, and 
that they have not wherewith to get clothes ; and 
this I believe is all done by hand of the doctor, 
who, notwithstanding your highness has written, 
sending him word that he should have money from 
the king of England, my lord, that their costs 
should be given them, yet, in order not to trouble 
him, will rather intrench upon and neglect the 
service of your highness. Now, my lord, a few 



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132 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

days ago donna Elvira de Manuel'' asked my leave 
to go to Flanders to get cured of a complaint which 
has come into her eyes, so that she lost the sight of 
one of them; and there is a physician in Flanders 
who cured the infanta donna Isabel of the same dis- 
ease with which she is affected. She laboured to 
bring him here so as not to leave me, but could 
never succeed with him ; and I, since if she were 
blind she could not serve me^ durst not hinder her 
journey. I begged the king of England, my lord, 
that until our donna Elvira should return his high- 
ness would command that I should have, as a 
companion, an old English lady, or that he would 
take me to his court; and I imparted all this 
to the doctor, thinking to make of the rogue a true 
man; but it did not suffice me — because he not 
only drew me to court, in which I have some plea- 
sure, because I had supplicated the king for an asy^ 
lum, but he negotiated that the king should dis- 
miss all my household, and take away my cham- 
ber-(equipage), and send to place it in a house of 
his own, so that I should not be in any way mis- 
tress of it. 

And all this does not weigh upon me, except 
that it concerns the service of your highness, doing 
the contrary of that which ought to be done. I 

* She was the chief maid of honour. Her husband, Maurique 
Manuel, was Catherine's major-domo. ~^Coff on. MS, Vesp, C 2CI, 
fol, 49-50. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 133 

entreat your highness that you will consider that 
I am your daughter, and that ybu consent not that 
on account of the doctor I should have such trouble, 
but that you will command some ambassador to 
come here, who may be a true servant of your high- 
ness, and for no interest will cease to do that which 
pertains to your service. And if in this your high- 
ness trusts me not, do you command some person to 
come here, who may inform you of the truth, and 
then you will have one who will better serve you. As 
for me, I may say to your highness that, in seeing 
this man do so many things not like a good servant of 
your highness, I have had so much pain and annoy- 
ance that I have lost my health in a great measure ; 
so that for two months I have had severe tertian 
fevers, and this will be the cause that ] shall soon 
die. I supplicate your highness to pardon me that 
I presume to entreat you to do me so great favour 
as to command that this doctor may not remain ; 
because he certainly does not fulfil the service of 
your highness, which he postpones to the service of 
the worst interest which can be. Our Lord guard 
the life and most royal estate of your highness, and 
ever increase it as I desire. From Richmond, the 
second of December. 

My lord, I had forgotten to remind your high- 
ness how you know that it was agreed that you 
were to give, as a certain part of my dowry, the 
plate and jewels that I brought ; and yet I am 
certain that the king of England, my lord, will 



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134 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

not receive anything of plate nor of jewels which I 
have used ; because he told me himself that he was 
indignant that they should say in his kingdom that 
he took away from me my ornaments. And as little 
may your highness expect that he will take them in 
account and will return them to me ; because I am 
certain that he will not do so, nor is any such thing 
customary here. In like wise the jewels which I 
brought came from thence (Spain) valued at a great 
sum.* The king would not take them in the half ol 
the value, because here all these things are esteemed 
much cheaper, and the king has so many jewels that 
be rather desires money than them. I write thus 
to your highness because I know that there will be 
great embarrassment if he will not receive them, ex- 
cept at less price. It appears to me that it would be 
better that your highness should take them for your- 
self, and should give to the king of England, my lord, 
his money. Your highness will see what would serve 
you best, and with this I shall be most content. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands. 

The Princess op Wales. 



In Ferdinand's reply to the present letter, which was addressed to 
Ftiebla, he says : — 

" You may say from me to the princess my daughter, that it seems 
to me that in all these things she should be very conformable and pay 
much respect and obedience to the king of England my brother, her 

* The jewels at 20,000 crowns, and the plate at 15,000. Ferdinand 
and Isabella to Puebhi, Cotton. MS. Vesp. C. XI. fol. 47. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 135 

father. As I befieve she will, because by this means he wHl more love 
her, and do more for her, and since, God willing, it so happens that 
she has always to be in that land, and spend her life with the king of 
England my brother, her father, and with the prince of Wales my son, 
her husband ; and, since the expense of her and her house, and the 
salaries of her people, are and must ever be at the charge of the said 
king of England my brother, her father, it seems to me that she 
should labour that her whole household and people should yield and 
assent to the will and pleasure of the king of England my brother, 
that he may thus fulfil all ; and it is to be believed that he will regard 
his honour, and that of the princess my daughter 1 "* 



LETTER LIII. 

Catherine of Arayouy as Princess of Wales, to her 
Father^ Ferdinand II. a.d. 1506. 

[EGERtoN MS. NO. 616, ART. 55, FOL. 17. Holograph 8pani9h,1 

*^* Early in the year 1506, Henry VII. received an unexpected 
tisit from Philip and Joanna, king and queen of Castile, the brother- 
in-law and sister of Catherine, who were driyen by violent storms on 
to the coast of We3rmouth, after having narrowly escaped shipwreck. 

Amongst the Cottonian MSS.^ there is a very curious inedited 
account, given by an eye-witness, probably a herald, of the reception 
of these royal guests, and a detail of the manner in which every day 
was spent during their visit. A few extracts, which introduce us to 
Catherine, the '' lady princess '^ in the court of Henry VII., may not 
be considered out of place here. 

Queen Joanna seems to have suffered too much from the perils she 
had lately undergone to advance farther than the coast, and her 
husband, whose conduct towards her was ever marked by indiffereilce, 
proceeded to Windsor without her^ where he was received with much 
ceremonious courtesy by Henry VII., and lodged and entertained 

• Cotton. MS. Vesp. C. XL foL 50. 
b Vespasian, C. XII. foL 236. et seq* 



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136 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

with great splendour, and within two hours afterwards Catherine and 
her suite arrived at the castle. 

The following Sunday, February 1st, after mass and dinner, Henry 
sent to invite the Castilian king to ** see the ladies dance for a 
pastime;''' an invitation which was cheerfully accepted, and the cham- 
ber voided and prepared accordingly. 

** And when,'' says our chronicler, ** the king heard that the king 
of Castile was coming, he went to the door of the great chamber and 
there received him, and desired him to take him by the arm, or else 
the king of Castile would not have taken so much upon him, but by 
the king's desire ; and so both together went through that chamber, 
the king's dining-chamber, and from thence to an inner chamber, 
where was my lady princess, and my lady Mary, the king's daughter, 
and diverse other ladies. And after the king of Castile had kissed 
them and communed with them, and communed awhile with the king 
and the ladies all, they came into the king's dining-chamber, where 
danced my lady princess, and a Spanish lady with her in Spanish 
array ; and after she had danced two or diree dances she left, and then 
danced my lady Mary and an English lady with her, and, ever anon, 
the lady princess desired the king of Castile to dance, which, after 
that he had excused him once or twice, answered that he was a mariner, 
* and yet,' said he, * you would cause me to dance ;' and so he danced 
not, but communed still with the king. And after that my lady 
Mary had danced two or three dances, she went and sat by my lady 
princess on the end of the carpet, which was uhder the cloth of estate, 
and near where the king and the king of Castile stood. And then 
danced one of the strange lords and a lady of England. That done, 
my lady Mary played on the lute, and after upon the claregalls,^ who 
played very well, and she was of all folks there greatly praised that in 
her youth in every thing she behaved herself so very well." 

The party was broken up by the arrival of the archbishop of 
Canterbury and other prelates, summoning them to even- song, to which 
the two princes proceeded arm-in-arm. 

Thei only mention of prince Henry, Catherine's betrothed husband, 
is in the minute details of the ceremonials attendant upon the instal- 
ment of Philip as knight of the garter, when the prince buckled the 
garter upon the knee of his brother-in-law,<^ and, in return for the 
compliment, was himself invested with the order of the ioison <2'or, 
or golden fleece.^* 

• Vespasian, C. XII. fol. 239 b. »» So in MS. t eUiricords or regaU ? 
c Ibid, fol. 242 b. * Ibid, fol. 247. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 137 

'* The Taesday the 10th of the said month, the queen of CastUe 
came to the said castle of Windsor, accompanied, besides her own ser- 
vants, with the earl of Arundel, the lord St. Amand,^ the lord 
Monntjoy, and divers other gentlemen, which by the king's com- 
mandment had attended afore upon her by the space of ... ^; 
and they entered by the little park, and secretly came to the back side 
of the castle, unto the king's new tower, where, at the stair foot, the 
king met with her, and kissed and embraced her, howbeit that the 
king of Castile that there was there present with the king had diners 
times before desired the king's highness for to have remained in his 
own lodging, and not to have taken the pains to have gone so far. 

** And after the king had welcomed her, my lady princess her 
sister, my lady Mary the king's daughter, having many ladies and 
gentlewomen attending upon them, welcomed her ; and so all together 
went up into the king of Castile's lodgings. And in the outei 
diamber the king departed from her, and the king of Castile con- 
veyed the king to his lodging, and so at that time departed. 

Wednesday the 11th was occupied in an exhibition of the ge- 
nealogies of the two kings, shewing how nearly they were related to 
each oth^r. And that day *' departed my lady princess and my lady 
Mary to Richmond." Thursday the 12th king Henry also departed 
for Richmond, leaving the king and queen of Castile at Windsor, 
where they remained till the Saturday ; on which day the queen, travel- 
ing in the rich litter of the late queen Elizabeth of York, went towards 
the sea-side, sleeping all night at Reading. The king went over to 
Richmond, which he greatly admired, where he remained till the 
Monday week following [Feb. 23], spending the time in all sorts of 
diversions, and at length took his departure, and was conveyed a mile 
or more on the way by Henry. Contrary winds detained them, how- 
ever, more than a month on the coast ; but Henry VII., having ob- 
tained from Philip several important concessions, in a treaty signed at 
Windsor on the 9th of February, *= paid him little ferther attention." 

It thus appears that the princess Catherine was only allowed to 
spend a single day with her sister ; and, minute as are the details 
given by the writer of the MS., he never once mentions any private 
intercourse between her and king Philip. The motives of this re- 
straint, otherwise inexplicable, abundantly appear in the details of the 
following letter, which shew the conduct of Henry VII. towards his 

*• Richard Beauchamp. ^ Blank in MS. 

'^ Cotton. MS. Titus, B. I. fol. 2. 



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138 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

claughter-in-law to have been such, that he might well dislike its 
forming the topic of confidential communication between her and her 
Spanish relatives. 

The niggardliness of the king towards her was the less excusable on 
account of the immense dower granted her by her parents, and also 
because, as the widow of prince Arthur, she could claim, according to 
a previous agreement,* a third of the revenues of Wales, Cornwall, 
and Chester, as her jointure. 

After the departure of king Philip, Catherine still remained at 
Richmond, whence she wrote the following letter, before he and 
Joanna had quitted England. The first folio is unfortunately missing, 
a circumstance the more to be regretted from the great interest of the 
portion which remains. 

The complaint of the princess that she did not understand English 
is singular, considering that she had been four years in Ehigland. It 
thews how little association she had with any but her own suite 
of Spanish attendants. It is probable that her intercourse with 
Henry VII. was carried on in Latin, with which language they were 
both familiar. 



[I cannot] speak more particularly, because I 
know not what will become of this letter, or if it will 
arrive at the hands of your highness ; but when don 
Pedro d'Ayala shall come, who is now with the 
king and queen in the harbour, your highness shall 
know all by ciphers. I have written many times 
to your highness, supplicating you to order a remedy 
for my extreme necessity, of which (letters) I have 
never had an answer. Now I supplicate your high- 
ness, for the love of our Lord, that you consider how 
I am your daughter, and that after Him (God) I 
have no other good nor remedy, except in your high- 

' Patent of prince Arthur to Catherine. Cotton. MS. Vesp. 
C. XII. fol. 220. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. ISQ 

ness ; and how I am in debt in London, and this not 
for extravagant things, nor yet by relieving my own 
(people), who greatly need it, but only for food ; 
and how the king of England, my lord, will not 
cause them (the debts) to be satisfied, although I 
myself spoke to him, and all those of his council, 
and that with tears : but he said that he is not obliged 
to give me anything, and that even the food he gives 
me is of his good will ; because your highness has 
not kept promise with him in the money of my mar- 
riage-portion. I told him that I believed that in 
time to come your highness would discharge it. He 
told me that that was yet to see, and that he did not 
know it. So that, my lord, I am in the greatest trou- 
ble and anguish in the world. On the one part, see- 
ing all my people that they are ready to ask alms ; 
on the other, the debts which I have in London ; on 
the other, about my own person, I have nothing for 
chemises ; wherefore, by your highness' life, I have 
now sold some bracelets to get a dress of black 
velvet, for I was all but naked : for since I departed 
thence (from Spain) I have nothing except two new 
dresses, for till now those I brought from thence 
have lasted me ;* although now I have nothing but 
the dresses of brocade. On this account I supplicate 
your highness to command to remedy this, and that 
as quickly as may be ; for certainly I shall not be 
able to live in this manner. 

I likewise supplicate your highness to do me so 

' It will be remembered that, at the dance given in honour of king 
Philip, Catherine is said to have worn ** Spanish array/' 



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140 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

great a favour as to send me a friar of the order of 
San Francesco de Osservancya, who is a man of 
letters, for a confessor ; because, as I have written 
at other times to your highness, I do not understand 
the English language, nor know how to speak it : 
and I have no confessor. And this should be, if your 
highness will so command it, very quickly ; because 
you truly know the inconvenience of being without 
a confessor, especially now to me, who, for six months 
have been near death : but now, thanks to our Lord, 
I am somewhat better, although not entirely well. 

This I supplicate your highness once again that 
it may be as soon as possible. Calderon, who brings 
this letter, has served me very well. He is now go- 
ing to be married. I have not wherewith to recom- 
pense him. I supplicate your highness to do me so 
great a favour as to command him to be paid there 
(in Spain) and have him commended ; for I have 
such care for him that any favour that your highness 
may do him I should receive as most signal. 

Our Lord guard the life and most royal estate of 
your highness, and increase it as I desire. 

From Richmond, the 22d of April. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands. 

The Princess of Wales. 

To the most high and puissant lord the king my 
[father.] 

Endorsed also in Spanish, ''To his highness, 
from the lady Princess of Wales, 22d of April, 
1506." 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 141 



LETl^ER LIV. 

Catherine of Aragon^ as Princess of Waks^ to the 
Queen of Castile, a.d. 1606. 

[eobrton MS. 616, FOL. 32. Holograph Spanith.'] 

*#* The person to whom the following letter is addressed is doubt- 
less Grermaine de Foix, the second wife of Ferdinand of Aragon, to 
whom he was married in the spring of 1506.* It seems that she 
had commenced a correspondence with her distant step>daughter. The 
letter is short and somewhat formal, as was naturally to be expected 
from the relative situation of the parties. 



Most high and most powerful lady, 

Since I wrote the other day to your high- 
ness from here I had more attacks of fever, but 
they have left me, as you desire, so that, thanks to 
God, I am somewhat better now, and in better 
spirits. It appears to me that it is right to let your 
highness know, whose life and the royal estate of 
your highness our Lord prosper. 
From ....'* 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands, 

The Princess of Wales. 

To the most high and powerful lady the queen 
my lady. 

Endorsed, "To the queen my lady, from the 
lady Princess of Wales, l7th of October, 1506." 

» L'art de verifier, vol. vi. p. 511. 

^ The letters discernible are y. acx . . The whole letter is written 
in the most hasty manner, and the ink is in some places much &ded. 



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142 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER LV. 

Catherine of Aragon^ as Princess of Wales, to her 
Father, Ferdinand II. a.d. 1506. 

[historical MS. VOL. I. ART. 23. IN THE PRIVATE COLLECTION 

OF DAWSON TURNER, ESft. Holograph Spanish,'] 

*#* The present letter is placed in 1506, because of the allusion 
to the recent illness of the princess, which occurred, as we have seen, 
in that year. A contemporaneous translation of it is to be found 
among the regal records of the Chapter-house, now in the Rolls- 
house.* From it have been supplied a few blanks which were illegible 
in the original.'* 



Right high and right puissant lord, 

I have written to your highness other times 
beseeching you to grant me the favour of a benefice 
in the realm of Naples for a son of a physician of the 
king of England, my lord, who is a native of Genoa, 
and I am so much beholden unto him that I know not 
wherewith to pay him, for that (after God) he gave 
me my life in a great sickness that I had ; and now 
in this that I have he has been of great service to 
me, and I believe that he will bring it to a good end 
with the help of our Lord. Therefore I beseech your 
highness for to do me so great a favour as to com- 
mand to give unto him this ecclesiastical benefice 

» Royal letters, vol. B. III. 7, fol. 54. 

^ For transcripts of the following, and several other letters, the 
editor is indebted to the courtesy of Dawson Turner, Esq. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 143 

in the realm of Naples for his son, and that it may 
be done as soon as it may be possible, because, as 
I have said unto your highness, I am much be- 
holden unto him. And for this I kiss the hands of 
your highness, whose life and royal estate our Lord 
keep and increase as I desire. 

From Richmond, the 8th day of December. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands. 

The Princess of Wales. 



LETTER LVL 



Catherine of Aragon^ as Princess of Wales, to her 
Father y Ferdinand II. a.d. 1507. 

[kgerton MS. 616, ART. 54, VOL. 19. Holograph 8pani8h,'\ 

*^* The Tilsit of Philip of Austria and Joanna of Castile to Eng« 
land was referred to in a preceding letter. It was followed in the 
autumn of the same year by the sudden decease of Philip, when only in 
his twenty-eighth year. Before this time Henry VII. of England, now a 
widower, had been trying to negotiate a second marriage for himself 
witii Margaret of Savoy, the sister of Philip, afterwards so celebrated 
as Regent of the Low Countries ; but he now transferred his attentions 
to Joanna. The young widow was already, in her own right, queen of 
Castile, with the reversion of the crown of Aragon on the death of her 
Either. She had six young children, the eldest of whom, afterwards the 
celebrated Charles V., was then only six years old. But so passionate 
was her grief for the loss of a husband whom she had loved intensely, 
though he had treated her with neglect, that not all the splendours 
which surrounded her, not even the caresses of her infants, could 
soothe her ; her mind yielded beneath the pressure of unutterable woe, 



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144 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

and she became ravingly mad.* Unconscious of or unheeding her situa- 
tion, many a noble suitor was eager to demand the hand of the young 
heiress. Henry VIL tried to avail himself of the influence of his 
daughter-in-law, Catherine, to forward a negotiation, which, had it 
succeeded, would have placed her in the anomalous position of daughter- 
in-law to her elder sister, for it is erident that neither Catherine nor 
her father supposed that this alliance would interfere with the former 
contract between herself and Henry. ^ 

The two following letters were written when Ferdinand of Ara- 
gon was on his return to Spain, after a long visit to Italy. On July 
the 20th, two days after their date, and before they could have reached 
Ferdinand, he wrote to Puebla, his ambassador in England, stating 
that it had been his full intention to have completed the payment of 
his daughter's dowry at the time fixed upon by the English king, viz. 
the September following ; but that stormy weather and multiplied busi- 
ness had detained him in Italy longer than he had intended — that it was 
impossible to send the money until he could obtain an interview with 
his daughter, the queen of Castile, and that coast-navigation being so 
dangerous he could only sail in the day-time, and thought it would be 
a month before he should reach Castile. He therefore requests a pro- 
rogation of the day of payment for six months, expressing, however, 
anxious desires to expedite the affair, and making kind inquiries 
after the prince and princess of Wales, his children.*^ 

* One of the most touching lyrics in our language was written by 
Mrs. Hemans on this subject. See vol. v. p. 202, in the new edition 
of her works. 

^ A recent biographer of Catherine of Aragon misquotes Dr. 
Lingard on this affair, by representing the protest secretly entered 
into in June, 1506, by prince Henry against his contract with Cathe- 
rine, as proceeding from the desire of Henry VII. to marry her elder 
sister, united with a fear that his own and his son's marriage with two 
sisters might be considered incompatible with propriety. But since 
Joanna did not become a widow till September 1506, three months 
after the protest was made, this supposition involves an anachronism 
with which that clear-sighted historian is not chargeable. He merely 
says that Henry VII. caused his son to make the protest, that he 
Plight have it in his power to retract the contract with Catherine if 
such a step would promote his own political views. 

c Ancient Royal Letters, 1st series, vol. xxv. State Paper Office. 
This document is loose. The same volume contains several Spanish 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 145 

The former of the two following letters, which were both written 
on the same day, is the formal communication of the princess, which 
had to be submitted to the inspection of Henry VIL or his ministers. 
The latter is her own confidential letter to her father, in which she ex- 
presses directly opposite wishes in reference to her sister's marriage, 
complains bitterly of the indignities which she endures, and shews a 
keen sense of the sorrows of an exUe, almost without a friend in a 
foreign land. 



Most high and most puissailt lord^ 

Since your highness will provide every thing so 
quickly, I have only for the present to let you know 
that I gave the letter of credence of your highness 
to the king of England^ my lord, and explained to 
him clearly that which came in cipher. 

His highness rejoiced as much as there was reason, 
and sets a high value on seeing the desire that your 
highness shews on this occasion to testify your good 
will by acts, and expressed himself under much 
obligation to you for it ; and that all that your high-* 
ness says appeared to him so good and so much to 
his purpose, that he could add nothing more than 
to commit himself entirely to your highness, since 
he counts upon you so certainly on his side. Ancl 
that when your highness has arrived, and has seen 
the disposition that there is in regard to this busi- 

letters from different persons, addressed to Catherine of Aragon as 
queen. One of these, art. 2, is ft very curious epistle, dated " January 
6th, 1518, from the city of St. Domingo, of the Spanish isle in the 
Indies of the ocean,'' and written by Passamonte, the Spanish am- 
bassador there. He sends the queen a dress and a chair, such as are in 
use amongst the Caciques, and would have sent her some parrots, but 
on account of the season he fears they would not live through the 
voyage. 

VOL. I. H 



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146 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

ness, if it be that which we all desire,^ the king 
of England, my lord, will send to your highness his 
ambassadors, with full and entire power for your 
highness, making himself known to you as though 
you were one and the same person with himself, since 
he believes you nothing less in affection, and thus 
will trust in your highness as much as in himself : 
since he holds for certain that you will regard him 
as your highness offered him, and that no embar- 
rassment may cause this affair to be obstructed. 

I wish to advise your highness, that by way of 
France and also from Spain I have learned how the 
king of France labours, that if the lady queen of 
Castile, my sister, should be married, it should be 
to the conte de Foix ; and this does not appear con- 
venient to me, either for the estate of your highness 
or for that of the lady queen of Castile, because it 
would be sending discord to the very knife into that 
kingdom ; and your highness could never be secure, 
since these inconveniences which I here speak of, as 
resulting from such a marriage in effect, might 
follow. , Let not your highness think that I say 
this by way of advising you, since I do not say of 
myself anything in the world that can warn your 
highness which you will not have well before pre- 
pared for ; but I say it because I, in this, feel myself 
personally interested. And in the negotiation which 
I have spoken of, I supplicate your highness to give 

• That is if Ferdinand, on his arriyal m Castile, find the disposition 
of the government favourable to the speedy payment of the dowry. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 147 

diligence that it may be held as was agreed upon ; 
since, as regards the king of England, my lord, 
they make great haste with marriages, as for that of 
the duchess of Savoy and others ; and his highness, 
as well on account of the advantage that there 
is in this as because he would prefer to contract 
kindred with your highness rather than with all the 
princes of Christendom, holds himself entirely 
in suspense, without determining anything, hoping 
in this other determination and answer which he ex- 
pects from your highness. And, since I see with 
how much affection your highness desires this may 
come to effect, there will be no need to supplicate 
you, (or) that I labour at it, except to kiss your 
hands for the favour that, for my part, in this affair 
I receive, who may find such new obligation to love 
your highness more, and give myself to serve you in 
every respect ; since I esteem the affairs of the king 
of England, my lord, more mine than my own. 
And since his highness writes more to your high<- 
ness about this in his letter, I conclude. 

Our Lord guard the most famous and royal estate 
of your highness, and increase it as I desire. 

From Greenwich, the 17th of July. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands, 

The Princess op Wales. 

To the most high and powerfdl lord, 
my lord. 

Endorsed in Spanish, ''To his highness, from the 
Princess of Wales, 18th of July, 1507.'' 



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148 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER LVII. 

Catherine of Aragen^ as Princess of Wales^ to her 

Father, Ferdinand II. a.d. 1507. 
[bgbrton MB. 616. ART. 60, FOL. 21. Holograph SpatiMh.'] 

Most high and most puissant lord, 

I received your highness' letters, which, by a 
servant of the king of England, my lord, you wrote 
to me ; and, setting aside the pleasure which it gave 
me to know the news of the health of your highness, 
which I desired, since I can have no greater good 
after my salvation, so much did the ciphers of your 
highness avail here, that I have by them passed 
three or four days in such good spirits as are un- 
earthly ; and they were much needed at the time 
that they came : for not two days before the king 
had said to me that the journey of your highness 
was postponed, according to report ; and I indeed 
felt it was said to do me fresh displeasure, so that on 
all accounts the letters of your highness were neces- 
sary to me. At the conjuncture that they arrived, I 
gave the credence of your highness to the king of 
England, my lord, and he had shewed to him clearly 
that which came in cipher. He rejoiced so much to see 
them that, as I tell your highness, he told m^ of his 
great satisfaction thereupon ; and he commanded me 
that I should write on his part to your highness the 
pleasure that he had of the good will that your high- 
ness by this shewed, and that he was greatly obliged 
by it, and thiat all that your highness said appears to 
him so good and so much to his profit, that he 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 149 

could say nothing more than to commit himself 
entirely to your highness, since he thinks you so cer- 
tainly oil his side; and that when your highness 
arrives and has seen the disposition that there is to 
execute that which he wishes, in case it were 
that which he desires, your highness making it 
known to him, he will send you ambassadors 
with all power for your highness, as though you 
were the same person with himself, since he believes 
you no less in aflPection ; and thus he will trust your 
highness as he would himself, since he esteems it 
certain you will regard him as no less (person) as 
your highness offered yourself to him. 

And since he writes himself to your highness I have 
no need to enlarge more on his behalf; that which 
on mine he commanded me to write was to advise 
your highness how, by way of France and also of 
Spain, they have written that the king of France was 
exerting himself so that if the queen should marry it 
should be with the conte de Foix. He told me that 
I should tell your (highness) as well on my own part, 
that this would be great inconvenience for the estate 
of your highness, and of the queen, and of her sons, 
and that Frenchmen entering into that kingdom 
your highness could not be in security ; and many 
other things about this which I do not say, because 
they are more to his purpose than to that of your 
highness. And that your highness may provide in 
that which is most necessary, and that you may see 
what is most conducive to your service^ it suffices 



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150 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

to let you know this^ without more apprehension or 
advices ; because, as refers to your highness, I con- 
sider such things improper. 

That which I venture to supplicate your high* 
ness is, that, whatever be the dispositions that your 
highness shall see entertained on this affair, you will 
not so act as that it may arrive at effect ; for I thus 
figure it to myself, that it must be that your high- 
ness entertains this business in order to terminate 
my marriage ; because with this bait I believe that, as 
to that which concerns me, things will be done better 
than the past,^ when some one comes who knows 
how to arrange and disinvolve them as I have 
written to your highness. 

And now I will not cease to return to it here, to 
supplicate your highness that he who shall have to 
come here may have the authority and rank that I 
have said, because he has more to do than your 
highness thinks, or I could tell you. For those of 
this kingdom are as dilatory as any in the world 
in negotiating ; in it (this kingdom) are needed 
more particulars than in any other, especially since 
the necessity is doubled by all being in the state 
that it is, as he who shall come will se^. And much 
as I say to your highness, I cannot give you to 

• The curious fact is here elicited that Ferdinand for a tune de- 
luded Henry V II. with yain hopes of obtaining queen Joanna's hand, 
in order to keep him on good terms and induce him to complete the 
marriage between prince Henry and Catherine, which had become 
desirable, the princess being in the bands of the king, and in so ano- 
malous a position as betrothed and yet unmarried ; — a position which 
she herself felt as acutely painful. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 151 

understand the state in which thinga are here, be- 
cause, though I knew how to say it to you, I think 
your highness would not credit me in much of it ; 
and thus the person who should come here, inform- 
ing your highness of the truth concerning what 
is going on, I believe your highness would be 
frightened at that which I have passed through : 
so that as to that which pertains to me and to the 
service of your highness, I should, beyond a trifle, 
prefer to see such a person as I speak of come with- 
out the dowry, than the dowry without a suitable per- 
son. And your highness may believe I speak from 
experience, the which I have well learned by what 
has passed and contii^ually passes concerning me, 
for want of such a person as I speak of.; because 
that, if there were one here who would have devoted 
himself to the service of your highness, my tribula- 
tions would not have arrived at such an extreme ; 
since, also, they would not have placed me as a 
pledge to make peace — they would not have con- 
sented that I should lead such a life. But, as I 
have written to your highness, that which I feel as 
most importunate is to see myself in such a situa- 
tion, and that there is no one who will contradict it. 
If the ambassador whom your highness has here 
were a man, he would not have consented-— even 
though I were not to be married to the prince, — 
were it only considering whose daughter I am, that 
I should be in this kingdom, with such a company 
in my house that I am indignant to think of it ; for 



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152 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

in comparison of this^ all the other things that I 
have passed through I think little of. And thus 
I am doubly desirous on this account for my 
remedy, that I may not see myself as never knight's 
daughter was seen in the kingdom of your highness. 

It is certain that I desire that at the least 
your highness should let the king of England, my 
lord, know how this is felt, — above all, since you 
are not in a case not to satisfy him, I being in such 
a manner in his kingdom, as I told him a few days 
ago. And I spoke so well that I should rejoice to 
give account of it to your highness, only that an 
affair of such length is not to be put in writing. 
I hope since your highness knows all, you will pro* 
vide in the manner that I have entreated you, and 
therefore I will not detain myself in telling your 
highness many continual troubles that I have passed 
through ; because, since I expect so speedy a remedy, 
I do not desire to give more trouble than that which, 
by my past letters, I have given to your highness, 
since this sufEces to enable you to judge that all the 
rest is of the same fashion. 

The shortness of the return of your highness 
consoles me, since with it I hope all will be reme- 
died, since your highness shewed that you care for 
me, as indeed I need it. 

The king rejoiced much in seeing the speedy at- 
tention that your highness intended to give about 
the coming of the dowry. May it please God that 
it may come at the time that is hoped for — be- 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 153 

cause I fear, and not without causp, to think that it 
should not be so ; and for this reason, that it con- 
cerns my interest rather than that of your highness. 
I hold it for certain that it is not necessary 'that I 
have made haste to write, although in fear from 
*its not being in cipher, and from not sending it by 
one of my own people. But I believe as to that 
that they go by as good a messenger as though he 
that takes them were of my house, because I send 
them by a faithful person to Martin Sanchez de 
Camudio, in order that he himself may take them 
to your highness. 

May it please our Lord that they may arrive at 
the time that your highness has arrived, because, 
according to what is reported, they tell me that 
your highness is so already. 

The king himself acknowledged the diligence 
which I have given in answering your highness in 
that which concerns him, and I, as well to content 
him, am glad to let him (know) that which your high- 
ness commands me ; that in reference to the king, 
while in the meantime your highness is provid- 
ing^ I may act as hitherto your highness has rightly 
commanded me, according to that which falls in 
most with the service of your highness. And that 
nothing may be hindered by me, I do as I have 
always done, since I cannot improve upon it ; and 
thus I shall act until your highness sends to give 
remedy in my life, which is greatly needed. And 
thus I conclude, supplicating your highness so to 
act that I may be here favoured by your highness ; 
H 2 



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154 LETTERS, ETC. 

and that you may »hew that yoa hold me in esteem, 
although I may not merit it ; because if your high- 
ness should desire it, it is in your power that things 
may not be as they have been hitherto. 

That which I say in this letter may sufEce in 
reference to your highness, and that minute that 
I sent with the king's packet was what I shewed to 
the king as the meaning of that which I wrote in his 
affair. And because, in truth, he might have had 
it shewn to him, I sent it to your highness.* He 
commanded me that I should add, that if the mar- 
riage which I have spoken of with th<5 conte de 
Foix should take place, that in length of time 
Spain would come to be joined to the crown of 
France ; and as for himself, that he considers him- 
self as a true son of your highness. When your 
highness writes to him, I entreat you to shew him 
that in this affair I have the same good will which I 
shew to him. 

May our Lord guard the life and most royal 
estate of your highness, and increase it as I desire. 

From Greenwich, the 18th of July. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands.^ 

To the most high and most puissant lord the 
King, my [lord.] 

* The minute alluded to is doubtless, the preceding letter. This 
passage is curious as shewing the double part which Catherine had to 
play. She wrote that letter, containing sentiments diametrically op- 
ponte to her own — read it to the king, as the exposition of her com- 
munications with her father on the subject — and then sent it only for 
fear the king should have the packet opened and miss it ! 

^ The signature is defaced, excepting the initial flourish. 



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LETTERS 

OP 

ROYAL AND ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES 

« OF 

GREAT BRITAIN, 

DU^UNQ THE SBIGN OF 

HENRY VIII. 



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ROYAL LADIES. 157 



LETTER LVIIl. 

Catherine of Aragon^- Queen of Henry Vlll.y to her 
Father^ Ferdinand II, a.d. 1609. 

[egbrton MS. 616. ART. 56, FOL. 25. Holograph Spaniah,'] 

\* The feelings with which Henry VIII. and Catlierine of 
Aragon mutually completed a union which had been contemplated 
for them so long have been matter of much speculation. It should be 
borne in mind that their early betrothal was not considered so 
binding as to leave it out of the power of Henry to retract if he 
thought proper ; but that, so fiEur from manifesting any disposition to 
do this, one of the first, and seemingly most cheerful, acts of his 
reign was to hasten to -complete his marriage with hiaJUinc^, In a 
letter to Ferdinand of Aragon, written about six weeks afterwards, he 
speaks in the most affi^tionate terms of his consort, '' whose virtues," 
he says, ** increase, shine, and flourish more day by day ;" and re- 
peatedly declares that, if all the ladies in the world had been offered to 
his choice, he would have repudiated every other for her sake, and 
that, were he now again free, he would choose her above all others. ^ 
A statement made by the bridegroom to the father of his bride might, 
however, be deemed overstrained, were it not for the testimony of 
Catherine herself. Her confidential letter to her father here given is 
seemingly the first she wrote after her marriage ; and it will be ob- 
served that she speaks of her husband in terms of the deepest affec- 
tion. Most provokingly, part of this letter is written in cipher, to 
which no key can be found, i^ When looking upon these mysterious 
symbols, traced by her own hand at so important a crisis of her his- 
tory, the thought naturally suggests itself, that the secret of the des- 
tiny of Catherine of Aragon may lie buried in the signs which, 
contrived purposely to baffle research, defy all powers of investi- 

» Original letter of Henry VIII. to Ferdinand. Egerton MS. 
616, fol. 35. 

^ No pains have been spared in searching out the key to tins 
cipher, and, failing this, in endeavouring to elicit a key from the do- 
cument itself; but they have proved alike unsuccessful. 



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158 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

gation to unravel their hidden meaning. That they refer to some 
topic intimately concerning her honour and estate, the queen herself 
intimates in the context.* 



Most high and most puissant lord, 

I received your highness' letter which this 
courier brought me, with which I rejoiced so much^ 
that your highness will scarcely be able to believe 
how much pleasure I had in knowing that I have 
ever been held and esteemed by your highness as 
your true daughter and servant. And it is the 
greatest favour that your highness can do me, and 
most conformed to my will, since I know that in 
this life I have no other good except that of being 
your daughter; although (by) your*highness so well 
married, that more cannot be said, except that it 
may well appear that it is the work of those hands 
of your highness which I kiss for so signal a favour. 

As to the king my lord, amongst the reasons that 
oblige me to love him much more than myself, the 
one most strong, although he is my husband, is his 
being the so true son of your highness, with desire 
of greater obedience and love to serve you than ever 

* To her learned correspondent, don Faseval de Gayangos, Arabic 
professor in the University of Madrid, the editor is indebted for the in- 
formation that in the archives of Simancas in Spain are several other 
letters of Catherine of Aragon, written principally in cipher ; but that 
very powerful influence with the Spanish government would be re* 
quisite to have them seen or transcribed. Could these letters be 
made accessible, it is probable they would throw much light on the 
character and conduct of Henry VIIL 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 159 

son had to his father. I have performed the office 
of ambassador as your highness sent to command, 
and as was known by the king my lord, who is, and 
places himself entirely, in the hands of your highness, 
as of so entire a father and lord. And yonr highness 
may believe me, that he is such in keeping obedience 
to yonr highness «s could never have been thought, 
from which I increase in infinite pleasure as much as 
reason requires. 

The news from here is that those kingdoms of 
your highness are in great peace, and entertain 
much love towards the king my lord and to 
me. His highness and I are very hearty to the 
service of your highness. Our time is ever passed 
in continual feasts. I supplicate your highness, as 
to the favour which you have always bestowed upon 
me, in which you have shewn me the greatest 
favour, henceforth to bestow it on me, by shewing 
that you esteem the kiug my lord and me as your 
true children." # # # # 

* * * # * 

***** favour. 
I feel assured your highness, having received my 
good-will with the desire which I have for your 
service with which I write this, and believing that 
you have given and will give credit to my letters, 
although you have not chosen to send an answer to 
all that which was in them, — since it so greatly 

^ The following passage is in cipher, and terminates very abruptly. 



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160 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

concerned my honour and estate that, by the life of 
your highness, it could not be thought how much 
the commandant De la Membrilla,'^ being here as 
ambassador, did me disservice, by having said what 
he did, and by taking up the topics which he took 
up. Supposing my confessor were the worst man in 
the world, yet, for the sake of giving the lie to the 
said ambassador, I should have kept him in my ser- 
vice, and made him a great prelate. So much the more 
being such a person, and so sufficient, as 1 believe 
your highness knows, since I have him in my 
service ; and I hope to keep him all the time that I 
shall be able, if your highness may be thus served. 
If I believed not that your highness would hold him 
in the same office, as reason is, I should think 
myself much annoyed and disfavoured by your 
highness. 

My mistress, Janina de Cuer, my chamberlain, 
with my other servants, set off from hence to 
their homes. I commanded to pay them all their 
salaries, in the form and quantity as every year the 
same officials are paid in the house of your highness : 
to Alonzo de Esquivel for six years, and to all the 
others for eight ; and all the help I gave them was 
for the service of your highness, besides other things 
which by my command they have received from my 
chamber ; this not for the service which they have 
done me, but only for that your highness had com* 

* Guter Gomez de Fuensalida. See letter of Ferdinand to Henry 
VIJL, May 11th, 1509. Cotton. MS. Vesp. C. XII. fol. 284. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 



161 



manded them to come here. Wherefore, if you 
should wonder at the boldness of them, and of the 
ambassador, I would supplicate your highness to 
command to chastise him and them ; but after- 
wards, by reason that they can call themselves mine, 
I supplicate your highness to pardon them, com- 
manding that they should be regarded as persons 
who have been in my house. 

Our Lord keep the life and royal estate of your 
highness, and increase it, according to my desire. 
From Greenwich, the 29th of July. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands, 

The Queen. 

I supplicate your highness to do me so signal a 
favour as to send to the king my lord three horses, 
— one a jennet, and the other from Naples, and the 
other a Sicilian ; because he desires them much, and 
has asked me to beg your highness for them: in 
which I shall receive a great favour from your 
highness ; and also to command them to be sent by 
the first messenger that comes here. 

To the most high and most puissant 

lord the King, my lord. 
Endorsed, in Spanish, *' To his highness, from 
the Queen of England, the 22d of July 1509.'' 



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162 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER LIX. 

Catherine ofAragoUj Queen of Henry Vlll.y to her 
Father, Ferdinand IL 

[egerton MS. 616, FOL. 34* Holograph Spanish."] 

Most high and most puissant lord, 

I have received your highness' letter which 
Calderon brought me, and I did all that by it your 
highness commanded me ; and since now your 
highness knows what sort of servant the old man is, 
and how well he has acted here, I supplicate you 
that it may please you to send to change the office 
which he holds, since now he is not at a fit age to 
serve as quarter-master, or as inferior officer* of your 
highness, and command him to have the favour of 
an office which he may hold as long as he lives, 
since he deserves it so well, in order that he may 
also have rest ; which I shall receive as a most signal 
favour, for the value I entertain for him. 

Our Lord preserve the life and most royal estate 
of your highness, and increase it as I desire. 

From Greenwich, the 26th of June. 

The humble servant of your highness, 
who kisses your hands, 

The Queen. 

To the most high and powerful lord the 
Elingy my lord. 

* Agucylj probably for Alguacil. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. l63 



LETTER LX. 

Queen Catherine of Aragon to Mr. Almoner Wolsey, 
■ A.D. 1513. 

[wolsey papers, vol. VII. NO. 49, STATE PAPER OFFICE. 

Original.'] 

*^* In the year 1513 queen Catherine of Aragon was appointed 
regent of England, by a commission dated June llth,^ previously to 
the departure of Henry VIII. for France. In tiie following August 
that monarch won the battle of the Spurs, in which the duke de 
Longueirille was taken prisoner. The present letter was written by 
the queen-regent in reference to the guardianship of this important 
state-captive. The allusion to the Scots will be explained when it is 
remembered that only a week afterwards was fought iStad celebrated 
battle of Flodden Field, which reflected such glory on the brief 
regency of Catherine of Aragon.^ 



Master almoner^ 

I received your letter by the post, whereby I 
understand of the coming hither of the duke, and 
how the king is content that he shall be in my 
household. Touching this matter, I have spoken 
with the council to look and appoint what com- 
pany shall be meet to attend upon him. Here 

■ Rymer, vol. xiii. p 370. 

^ This letter follows in date one written to Wolsey on the 25th of 
' August, the original of which is in Cotton. MS. Calig. D. VI. fol. 94, 
and which has been printed in Ellis' Letters, 1st series, vol. i. p. 84, 
and Strickland's Queens, vol. iv. p. 92, and precedes her letter to the 
kmg of Sept 16. Original Cotton. MS. Vesp. F. III. fol. 15, printed 
in Heame's Sylloge Epistolarum, p. 106 ; Burnet's Reformation, vol. iii. 
App. p. 7 ; Ellis' Letters, 1st series, vol. i. p. 88 ; and Strickland's 
Queens, vol. iv. p. 93. Her letter to Wolsey of the same date has been 
printed by Ellis, 1st series, vol. ii. p. 19, and in Gait's appendix to 
Wolsey's life. No. II. from the original, Calig. D. VI. foL 35. The 
present letter has not been previously published. 



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164 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

is none that is good for it but my lord Mountjoy, 
who now goeth to Calais as chief captain of the 600 
men. And for this cause, and also that I am not so 
well accompanied as were convenient for his keep- 
ing here, it is thought to me and my council that it 
should be better the said duke be, as soon as he 
Cometh, conveyed to the Tower ; specially the Scots 
being so busy as they now be, and I looking for my 
departing every hour, it should be a great incum- 
brance to me to have this prisoner here ; seeing that, 
according to the king's mind, he must be conveyed 
to the Tower at my going forward. I pray you 
shew this to the king, and with the next messenger 
send me an answer of his pleasure. 

Mr. Almoner, I am sorry, knowing that I have 
been always so bound unto you, that now you shall 
think that I am miscontent without a cause, seeing 
that my servant asked of you no letter, nor brought 
you none from me. The cause was, that two days 
before I wrote unto you by Copinger, and at that 
time I had nothing farther to write, — and with my 
servant's unwise demeanour I am nothing well con- 
tent ; for one of the greatest comforts that I have 
now is to hear, by your letters, of the king's health 
and of all your news. And so I pray you, Mr. 
Almoner, to continue as hitherto you have done : 
for I promise you that from henceforth you shall 
lack none of mine, and before this you should have 
had many more, but I think that your business 
scantly giveth you leisure to read my letters. From 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. l65 

hence I have nothing to write to you more than I 
am sure the council informeth the king ; praying 
God to send us as good luck against the Scots, as 
the king hath there. 

At Richmond, the 2d day of September. 

Catherine the Queen. 

To Master Almoner. 



LETTER LXI. 



Margaret Queen of Scotland to her Brother ^ King 
Henry VIII. a.d. 1514. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 164. Original,'] 

*;ic* There is, perhaps, no lady connected with the royalty of Eng- 
land or Scotland, if we except Mary queen of Scots, who has left 
such a mass of correspondence, great part of it autograph, as queen 
Margaret of Scotland. The prominent position she so long occupied, 
the strange yicissitudes of fortune she encountered, and the natural 
impetuosity of her temper, imbue her letters with great historical inter- 
est, variety of incident, and personal character. As, however, the 
editor intends at some future time to present a connected biography of 
this lady, the introductions to her letters will be brief, only just serving 
to render intelligible the circumstances under which they were written. 

Queen Margaret was the eldest daughter of Henry VII., and 
married when very young to James TV. of Scotland, whose melan- 
choly death at the battle of Flodden Field left her a young widow with 
an infant son of eighteen months old, and the prospect of approaching 
maternity. Margaret aroused her energies, assembled the three estates 
of the kingdom, and had her son crowned, and herself appointed 
regent with the aid of four councillors. The following spring she gave 
birth to a posthumous infant, who was called Alexander. But in the 
month of August, before a year had elapsed after the death of the king, 
she rashly gave her hand in marriage to Archibald Douglas, earl of 



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166 letters' of royal and 

Angus, one of tiie nobles who formed her council, without asking the 
adyice of the rest of the nobility, or even of her brother, Henry VIII. of 
England. With equal recklessness she deprived the archbishop of 
Glasgow of the chancellor's seals for opposing her union, and raised 
the members of the house of Douglas to all places of trust in her 
power. This conduct, of course, met with violent opposition, which 
was headed by the earl of Arran ; and he and his party threatened to 
call in the duke of Albany, who, after the queen's children, was next 
heir to the throne, and to make him regent.* Against this proceeding 
the queen earnestly remonstrates in the present letter to her brother. 
She had previously withdrawn from Edinburgh, where she had held an 
ineffectual conference with the lords, to her dower castle of Stirling.^ 



Regina. 
Right high and mighty prince and dearest brother, 
I commend me to you with all mine heart. I 
have received your loving and comfortable writings 
from a man of the lord Dacre's, the 22d day of 
November, wherein I perceive your fraternal love 
and kindness. I and my party were in great trouble 
of mind, till we knew what help you would do to us. 
I have shewn the said writings to all my lords which 
were with me in my castle of Stirling the said 
day, whereof they were greatly comforted. My 
party-adversary continues in their malice and pro- 
ceeds in their parliament, usurping the king's 
authority, as I and my lords were of no reputation, 
reputing us as rebels ; wherefore I beseech you 
that you would make haste with your army, both 

^ Lesley, de rebu» gestis Scotorum, pp. 367-374. 
^ Letter from lord Dacre to the privy council, date 23d Nov. 
1514. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. I. fol. 154. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. l67 

by sea and land, and in especial on the chamber- 
lain,^ which is post of this conspiration, for within 
this se'nnight he took an escheat of a bastardry, to the 
value in ready money of ten thousand pounds, of 
usual course of Scotland, to his own use, as (though) 
he had the whole authority. On that other side 
the prior of Saint Andrew's,** with the power of my 
contrary party, has laid siege to the castle of Saint 
Andrew's, which I would that your navy would 
revenge ; for it stands on the sea -side fore- 
against Berwick by north. I have sent my hus- 
band to break the siege, if he may, this 23d day. 
I am at great expenses — every day a thousand in 
wages, and my money is near hand wasted; if 
you send not the sooner other succours of men or 
money, I shall be super-expended, which were to my 
dishonour : for I can get no answer of my rents, as 
I shewed you before. 

All the hope that my party adversary hath 
is in the duke of Albany's coming, which I be- 
seech you to let in any wise ; for if he happen 
to come before your army, I doubt that some 
of my party will incline to him for dread. I 
shall keep this castle with my children till I hear 
from you. There is some of the lords that dread 
that your army shall do them scathe, and that their 
lands shall be destroyed with the fury of the army : 
wherefore I would that you wrote to them that 
their lands nor goods shall not be hurt, and, if so be, 

^ John lord Fleming. ^ John Hepburn. 



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168 LETTERS OF ROYAL AI^D 

that they shall be recompensed double and treblel 
The king, my son, and his brother, prospers wellj 
and are right lifelike children ; thanked be Almighty 
God. 

It is told me that the Lord's adversaries are pur- 
posed to siege me in this castle. I would, there- 
fore, that the chamberlain were holden waking in the 
mean time with the borderers. I trow that I shall 
defend me well enough from the others till the com- 
ing of the army. I pray you to give credence to 
miister Adam Williamson in other things as it is 
written to him, and thank him for his good service, 
and the peril that he was in for my sake in the 
ship that was broken, with other three ships that I 
have word since that, departing of Scotland afore 
his ship, with a message to the duke of Albany, 
wherein was Lion the herald, with other messages 
direct from these lords adversaries, with letters 
sealed with the great seal, which seal they keep 
masterfully from me and my lords, and use it as 
they were kings, i trust \hat God is on my party, 
which letted their message, and furthered mine. 
I have given Saint Andrew's to the apostolate of 
Arbroath, my husband's uncle,* wherefore I would 
that you letted all other competitors that labour 
the contrary in Rome, and that you would direct to 
the pope's holiness upon the same with the next 
that you send, and that you would direct writings 
to me each month, at the least, how you will do, and 

* Gavin Douglas. John Hepburn, tl^e late prior, who had been 
elected by the canons, was supported by the opposing party. 



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what you would that I did ; and if my party-adver- 
sary counterfeit any letters in my name, or if they 
compel me to write to you for concord, the sub- 
scription shall be but thus — Margaret R. and no 
more, and trust that such writing is not my will. 

Brother, all the welfare of me and my children 
lies in your hands, which I pray Jesus to help 
and keep eternally to his pleasure. 

At Stirling, the 23d day of November. 
Your loving sister, 

Margaret R. 

To the right high and mighty prince and our 
dearest brother, the King of England. 



LETTER LXII. 

Mart/y Daughter of Henry VII,, to her future Hus- 
band, Louis XII, of France, 

[bsthvnb M8S. BiBLioTHiauB Du Roi, PARIS. ^ Holograph 
French,'] 

%* The history of Mary queen of France, younger daughter of 
Henry VII., is one of the most adventurous and romantic of the 
sixteenth century. She was in early life betrothed to Charles prince 
of Castile, afterwards the celebrated Charles V. A curious and 
detailed Latin account of the ceremonials of the betrothment is to be 
found among the Douce MSS.yi^ in which '^ the splendid beauty of the 
princess, the modesty and gravity with which she bore herself, and the 
laudable and princely gestures discerned in her,'' are recorded with an 

* The number of the Bethune MS. from which these letters are 
extracted has been unfortunately lost, so that a more distinct refer- 
ence to them cannot at present be made. They are both in the same 
MS., the second occurring at folio 7. 

^ No. 198. Bodleian Library, Oxford. 
VOL. I. I 



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170 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

enthusiastic admiration rarely caJIed forth by a child eleven years 
old.' The '^ solemnities and triumphs" made in London on this 
joyful occasion formed the subject of a black-letter tract, printed by 
R. Pynson.'* But though Mary bore for many years the title of 
princess of Castile, and though Charles wrote to her several times as 
his wife,^ the marriage never took effect, obstacles being thrown in the 
way by the friends of the bridegroom. Charles lived bitterly to regret 
his loss ; for when years had rolled away and he visited the court of 
Henry YIII., and saw his former betrothed radiant in beauty, the 
happy wife of an English noble, he was so moved that he refiised to 
dance at the court-ball given in his honour, and sat the whole evening 
silently and moodily apart. 

Early in 1514, Henry VIII. negotiated a political marriage for his 
beautiful sister with Louis XII. of France, a monarch fast sinking into 
old age and decrepitude ; but who had become violently enamoured of 
the princess from a portrait of her which had been sent to him.** 
Though Mary's affections had been previously entangled by her 
brother's favourite courtier, Charles duke of Suffolk,*' yet she had no 
option but that of submitting with a good grace to a union which, in 
every respect save that of rank, was so utterly unsuitable. On the 
2d of Sept. 1514, the marriage was solemnised by proxy at the church 

» Folio 155. 

•* The extreme rarity of this tract has induced the Bannatyne Club 
to issue a reprint of it in fac-simile. Unfortunately, two or more 
pages of it are missing, and are believed to have entirely perished. 

^ Douce MS. 193, fol. 167. One of these letters is preserved in 
the Cottonian MS. Galba, B. III. fol. 93. 

«* Grove's Life of Wolsey, vol. ii. p. 242. 

« During Mary's contract with Charles of Castile, Brandon, then 
viscount Lisle, was flirting with Margaret, archduchess of Savoy, 
whom he met when with Henry YIII. at Toumay and Lisle, and a match 
between them was confidently rumoured. — Hall's Chronicle, edit. 
1548, foL 448. In Cotton. MS. Titus, B. I. fol. 142 et seq., are trans- 
lations in the handwriting of Sir Richard Wingfield of two very curious 
letters, addressed probably to himself, by a lady who signs M., giving 
the details of a love-affair between herself and a " personage" whose 
suit was fevoured by Henry VIII. The writer of these letters has 
been hitherto believed to have been one of the four wives of Charles 
Brandon, but many points of internal evidence, too long to be entered 
into here, identify them as the production of the archduchess Margaret. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. I7I 

of the Celestins at PariB ; Charles earl of Worcester actmg as Mary's 
proxy, and taking, in the name of ** this very redouhted lady," Louis 
** for her hushand and spouse, to obey, &c., during her natural life."* 
The very same ddy Louis wrote to Wolsey, earnestly pressing that his 
queen might be sent to him immediately, and repeated his request in a 
long letter a few days afterwards.'* He also addressed affectionate 
epistles to Mary ; and she, as in duty bound, wrote to him in reply. 
The two following letters, which are entirely in her own hand, were 
sent by her to him. The first was written after the signing of the 
contract in England, which was done on the 7th of August, 1514, « and 
before the departure of the earl of Worcester to France, at the latter 
end of the same month ; the second, probably, about a month later. A 
third is also in existence, in the Cottonian collection ; ^ but, as it has 
been printed in the original French by Sir Henry Ellis, in his Historical 
Letters, « it is not given here. Mary's French is good, and her pen- 
manship distinct ; very different from that of the hurried and almost 
illegible scrawls which some of her later and more feuniliar letters 
present. 



My lord, 

Humbly, with good grace, I recommend me. 
Because the king, my lord and brother, presently 
sends his ambassadors to you, I have desired, or- 
dered, and charged my cousin, the earl of Wor- 
cester, to tell you some things from me touching the 
espousals now spoken of between you and me. So 
I beseech you, my lord, to honour and believe him 
as myself; and I assure you, my lord, as I have 
before written and signified to you by my cousin the 

» Contract of espousals. Original. Liasse I, 650, No. 10, Ar- 
chives du Eoyaume, Hotel Soubise, Paris. 

b Both these letters are translated in Grove's Life of Wolsey, 
vol. ii. pp. 242, 243. 

c The original contract, with the signatures and seals in fine pre- 
servation, is among the Archives du Royaume, Paris. Liasse I. 650. 

^ ViteUius, B. XI. fol. 156 b. 

• First series, vol. i. p. 113. 



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172 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

duke de Longueville, that the thing which I now 
most desire and wish is to hear good news of your 
health and good prosperity, as my cousin the earl 
of Worcester will tell you more fully. It will please 
you, moreover, my lord, to use and command me 
according to your good and agreable pleasure, that 
I may obey and please you, by the help of God ; who 
give you, my lord, good and long life. 

By the hand of your very humble companion, 

Mary. 



LETTER LXIII. 



Mary^ Daughter of Henry VIL^ to her future Hus- 
bandy Louis XII. of France, a.d. 1614. 

[bethune MSB. BiBLioTHiauE DU ROi, PARIS. Holograph 
French,'] 
Sir, 

Very humbly I recommend me to your good 
grace. I have received the letters which it has 
pleased you to write to me with your own hand, and 
heard what my cousin the duke de Longueville has 
told me from you, in which I have taken great joy, 
felicity, and pleasure ; for which, and for the honour 
which it has pleased you to do to me, I hold myself 
ever indebted and obliged to you, and thank you as 
cordially as I can. And because by my cousin you 
will hear how all things have taken their end and 
conclusion, and the very singular desire that I have 
to see you and to be in your company, I forbear to 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. I7S 

write to yoa a longer letter, praying for the rest, 
sire, our Creator to give you health and long life. 
By the band of your humble companion. 

Mart. 



LETTER LXIV. 
Mary Queen of France to her Brother^ Benry VIIL 
A.D. 1614. ' 

[royal LBTTXR8, VOL. B. III. 4, FOL. 60, BOLLS-HOUSB.' Oriffinal,'] 

%* On the 2d of October, 1514, Mary set sail from England and 
landed at Boulogne. The particulars of her arrival, marriage, 
jonmey to Paris, coronation, &c., are recorded in three con- 
temporaneous MS. French chronicles with a minute detul, of 
which only a brief outline can be given here. * To these may be added 
a fourth black-letter printed chronicle, entitled * *■ Les grandes Croniques 
de Bretagne," the writer of which was evidently an eye-witness of the 
scenes he describes. Mary was attended by a long array of English 
nobles and servants. *' I assure you,'' says one of our chroniclers, 
<< that she did not come like a lady of little consequence, for she was 
accompanied by great princes and ladies, and great personages; and, 
among others, the principal were my lord chamberlain, the duke of 
Suffolk, the duke of Norfolk and his wife, and a great number of 
ladies and damsels, &c." Sn route from Boulogne to Abbeville she 
was joined by the duke of Bretagne and AngoulSme, afterwards 
Francis I., whoj though he had little reason to rejoice in an event 
which hazarded his hopes of succession to the French throne, received 
the young queen with a courtesy which his passionate admiration- of 
her grace and beauty afterwards feumed into a warmer and less justi- 
fiable feeling. The queen travelled towards Abbeville, splendidly 
attired, and mounted on a white palfrey ; but as she neared the city 
she was met by her impatient bridegroom, who, on the pretence of 

» Chronique de Louis XII. et Fran9oi8 I. par Robert de la 
March. MS. 1098 Fonds St. Victor. Bibliotheque du Roi, Paris. 
Journal de ce qui est pass^ dans France depuisPan 1513 jusques a Van 
1517, MS. 9707, Fonds Colbert. Histoire de France de Tan 1514 
jusqu'a Van 1521, MS. 96, Fonds Oratoire. 



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174 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

going out to hunt, had riddep forth to obtain an earlier interriew. 
When they met, the monarch kissed his bride, and whispered to her 
" five or six good and honest words." 

Mary was married at Abbeyille, in the large hall of the temporary 
abode of Lonis.* Her attire was of the most gorgeous character. 
Her flowing hair, which hnng in rich masses on her neck and shoulders, 
was confined by a coronal of glittering gems, the richest in Enrope ; 
but she wore no crown, that being unusual with the queens of France 
until after their formal Coronation. 

Amidst all these splendours, however, Mary was not without her 
share of sorrows. The day after her marriage Louis dismissed the 
whole of her attendants ; whose loss, especially tihat of ** mother 
Guildford,'' her confidential friend and adviser, she keenly felt.^ The 
duke of Suffolk, who was on his way to Paris when he heard of this 
affair, wrote to Wolsey about it, attributing it entirely to the ma- 
chinations of the duke of Norfolk and his son, whose jealousy had 
been aroused because these attendants upon the young queen were 
entirely selected by Wolsey and Suffolk.^ From the time of her 
marriage, Mary seems to have treated her husband with all due con- 
jugal respect. Her lover, Suffolk, assures king Henry, in one of his 
letters, that ** there was never queen in France that had demeaned 
herself more honourably and wiselier ; and so,'' he adds, *' say all the 
noblemen in France that have seen her demeanour, the which lacked not 
to speak of it ; and as for the king, there was never man that set his 
mind more upon woman than he does on her, because she demeans 
herself so winning unto him."<^ 

At the request of her husband, Mary wrote from Abbeville the two 
following letters to the lung her brother. 



My most kind and loving brother, 

I heartily recommend me unto you. Pleaseth it 
your grace to understand that my lord the king hath 

^ Lanson, Histoire G^^ogique des Contes de Ponthieu et ma- 
yeurs d' Abbeville, p. 621. 

«» Mary to Henry VIIL, October 12th. Cotton. MS. Calig. D. VI. 
fol. 253. Ellis' Letters, Ist series, vol. i. p. 115. 

« Suffolk to Wolsey, October 20th. Calig. D. VI. fol. U7. 

^ Letter of Suffolk to Henry YIII. Ibid. fol. 149. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 175 

instantly desired me to write unto yon, that it would 
please you, for his sake and mine, to send unto my 
lord Darcy, to deliver Fran§ois Descars, upon a 
reasonable ransom, unto you ; and that it would 
please your grace to pay bis ransom for tbe time, 
and that be might be delivered unto your grace, 
you shortly to have the money again, after that 
word is of his deliverance, or else he not to return 
as hither. Furthermore, the duke of Bretagne, 
otherwise called the dauphin, hath divers seasons 
moved me to write to your grace for the said 
Frangois, forasmuch as he is one of his servants ; the 
which to do I made him promise, and to the duke 
of Longueville also : for I assure your grace they 
made me and tbe noblemen of my company great 
cheer, from Bologne forth ; as the duke of Norfolk, 
the lord marquis, with other noble men, can inform 
your grace. These premises considered^ I beseech 
your grace to desire tbe lord Darcy to deliver, upon 
as little a ransom as reasonably may be, his said 
prisoner ; for, as I am credibly informed here, he is 
but a poor gentleman. Now somewhat I would 
that my lord the king, (and) the both dukes to whom 
I am much bound, should think he should be tbe 
more favoured for my sake. When this man is de- 
livered, I beseech you to send word by the bringer of 
this, or some other, what his ransom is, which I 
pray God may be reasonable and little, who preserve 
your grace. Amen. 



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176 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

From Abbeville, the 18th day of October, by 
your very loving sister, 

Maby Queen of Fbancb. 

To mj moflt land and loTing brother the kmg's 
grace of England. 



LETTER LXV. 

Mary Queen of France to her Brother^ Henry VIII. 
A.D. 1614. 

[royal letters, vol. b. III. 4, FOL. 61 y ROLLS-HOUSE. Original,'] 

My most kind and loving brother, 

I heartily recommend me to you, certifying your 
grace that, since my departing from you, I have 
sent you divers letters, and as yet I have had no 
manner word from your grace, whereof in part I 
marvel, considering that certain letters be come 
from your grace hither. I trust, though I be fiir 
from you, that your grace will not forget me ; but 
that I shall shortly hear from you, whereof I 
heartily desire you. And whereas I have written 
unto your grace touching the deliverance of a pri- 
soner which my lord Darcy hath, I beseech you that 
his ransom might be as favourable, and driven to a& 
small a sum as might be ; assuring your grace that, 
trusting that favour should be showed him, my lord 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 177 

the king, at the instance of the duke of Bretagne 
and the duke of Longueville, hath sent this week 
his letters unto Boulogne, that divers of your 
subjects, being prisoners there, should be delivered, 
after the custom of the sea. As for 200 marks, or 
250 marks, I hear say they would be content to 
give, or else to continue still ;• which, I trust to 
God and you, shall not be, who preserve your grace. 
Amen. 

Written at Abbeville, the 20th day of October, 
By your loving sister, 

Mary. 

To my most kind and loving brother the King 
of England. 



LETTER LXVI. 

Mary Queen of France to Nicolas de Cerisay. 
A.D. 1514. 

[lIASSE, K. 81, NO. 5, ARCHIVES DU ROTAUME, HOTEL SOUBISE, 

PARIS. Original French,'] 

*ni* The coronation of the young queen took place at St. Denis on 
the 5th of November. Francis of Valois, duke of Bretagne and 
Angouleme, presented the customary offering to the king; and his 
wife, Claude of France, daughter to Louis by his late queen Anne of 
Bretagne, performed the same office, though less cheerfully, for Mary. 
** I assure you,*' says our MS. chronicler,'* *' that I know well that 
the said lady Claude had marvellously great regret, for it was but a 

* To remain still in prison. 

»> Chronique de Louis XII. MS. 1098. St Victor. 

l2 



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178 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

little while since her mother had died, and yet she was now compelled 
to perform the service which was accustomed to he done for the 
queen her mpther/' The entry into Paris took place the following 
day. Mary trayelled in a litter, attired in cloth of gold and loaded 
with jewels. The streets of the dty were lined with tapestry. Every 
civic and mercantile order of the Parisians came out to meet her, and 
at every convenient place were prepared ** mysteries y*^ or allegorical 
representations, for her amusement. That at the fountain of the 
Ponceau represented the queen of Sheha's visit to Solomon, Louis and 
Mary heing, of course, allegorised in the principal dramatis persome. 
At the palace gates were a troop of shepherds and shepherdesses, sur- 
rounding emblematic figures of France, Truth and Peace, who chanted 
a song, comparing the young queen, by whose means peace had been 
made between France and England, to the Virgin Mary, who brought 
the gift of peace to mankind.* The University of Paris offered her its 
most elaborate adulation ; the grave and learned professors and doctors 
addressing her as their '* most Christian mother,' ' and speaking of the 
university as her " eldest daughter. "•» 

The following is the only official document issued by Mary as queen- 
consort of France which is now in existence. It is marked by that 
amiable and affectionate consideration for her ladies and attendants who 
had been unceremoniously dismissed which characterises several of the 
succeeding epistles. The silence preserved respecting the names of the 
ladies was probably occasioned by the jealousy with which Louis had 
regarded several of them. 



Mary, by the grace of God queen of France, to 
our beloved and faithful counsellor Nicolas de Ce- 
risay, treasurer and receiver-general of our finances. 

We will and command you, that from the 
money of your receipts you pay, discharge, and de- 
liver to our well-beloved William Vemer, gold- 
smith, dwelling ***** at London, and being at 

* C^r^onial Fran9ois, par Th^dore et Denis Godefroi, sub 
anno 1514. 

*> Histoire de France, 1514-1521. MS. 96, Oratoire. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 179 

present in this country, the sum of 600 crowns of 
soleil gold, worth 38 sols 6 deniers Toumois a- 
piece, being equal to the sum of 11 55 livres Toumois, 
which we have ordered him, and order by these 
present, for the payment of a polished ruby and an 
emerald, enchased in a golden cross, weighing ten 
ounces and a half, worth two hundred crowns 
soleil ; a fine diamond and two sapphires, enchased in 
a golden collar, weighing two marks, three ounces, 
and three quarters, worth 300 crowns soleil ; and for 
another table-diamond, chased in a pendent agnus 
Dei of gold, weighing six ounces and half a quarter, 
worth 100 crowns soleil ; which he has given and 
delivered on the other side the sea, we being on 
this side, by our command and ordinance, to some 
ladies and damsels of the said country of England, 
nearly related to us, whom we do not wish to be 
named or otherwise mentioned here ; and to whom we 
have made gift and present of the aforesaid rings and 
jewels. And at sight of these present, signed with 
our hand, with quittance of the said William Verner, 
goldsmith, aforesaid, alone, we wish the said sum of 
600 golden crowns soleil aforesaid to be allowed in 
your accounts, and abated from your receipts by 
our dear and well-beloved the clerks of the ex- 
chequer of my lord the king, to whom we command 
also to do it without difficulty : for such is our plea- 
sure, notwithstanding any ordinances, restrictions, 
orders, or prohibitions to the contrary. 
Given at Paris, November 2d, 1514. 



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180 LETTERS OF EOYAL AND 



LETTER LXVII. 

Mary Queen of France to Archbishop Wolsey. 
A.D. 1614. 

[royal LBTTBR8, VOL. B. III. 4, FOL. 57, R0LL8-H0USB. Ort^'fMl/.] 

My lord, 

I heartily recommend me unto you, desiring you 
for my sake to be good lord to my servant John 
Palsgrave, and provide for him some living that he 
may continue at school. If he had been retained 
in my service, I would have done for him gladly 
myself, but since he was put out of my service, I 
willed him to come to Paris, partly because I trust 
verily that you will provide for him (that) he may be 
able to continue, and also because I intend myself 
somewhat to do for him. Howbeit, because my 
estate is not yet made, I wot not how much. I 
shall be glad to help him that he shall not need to 
come home. Praying you heartily not to forget 
him. Commending you, my lord, to God^ who 
have you in his keeping. 

At Paris, the 13th day of November. 

Marv Quebn op France. 

To my lord of York. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 181 



LETTER LXVIII. 

Mary Queen of France io her Brother^ King 
Henry VIII. a.d. 1514. 

[cotton. MS. YBSPASiAN, F. III. ART. 48, FOL. 41. Holograph,"] 

My most kind and loving brother, 

I recommend me unto your grace as heartily as 
I can, and I thank your grace for your kind letters, 
and for your good counsel, the which I trust to our 
Lord God I shall follow every day more and more. 
How lovingly the king my husband dealeth with 
me, the lord chamberlain, with other of your ambas- 
sadors, can clearly inform your grace, whom I 
beseech your grace heartily to thank for their great 
labours and pains that they have taken as here for 
me ; for I trust they have made a substantial and a 
perfect end. As touching mine almoner, I thank 
your grace for him, Of his demeanour here your 
grace shall be informed better than I can write ; as 
knoweth our Lord Jesu, who preserve your grace. 
Amen. 

From Paris, the 15th day of November, by your 
loving sister, 

Mary. 

To the King my brother. 



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LETTER LXIX. 

Mary Queen of France to her Brother, Henry VIII. 
A.D. 1514. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, D. vi. FOL. 145. OriffifuU French.'] 

%* Almost the whole of Mary's correspondence, while she 
enjoyed the short-lived dignity of queen-consort of France, affords 
proof of the amiableness of her disposition, and the benevolence with 
which she was glad to exert her influence in behalf of the oppressed 
and the sorrowful. The present letter is another specimen of the same 
kindly feeling. 



My very dear lord and brother, 

I recommend myself most humbly to your good 
grace, praying you to accept my recommendations 
in behalf of a poor honest man, Mr. Vincent Knight, 
who has always dwelt and remained in your king- 
dom since he came in with our late dearest lord and 
father, whom God absolve. The poor man has 
made several voyages over here during the wars, 
by command of your privy-council,* which had 
promised him a benefice. This they have not 
granted, but, in lieu of it, have had him put into 
prison in your city of Tournay, whilst you were 
there, where he remained seven weeks, and was 
then taken prisoner to England ; where he has been 
in your prison of the Fleet, without any veritable 
cause, for the space of forty-four weeks, and has 

* Conseil estrout are the words thus translated. The letter 
was evidently penned by a French secretary ignorant of English 
affairs. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIKS. 183 

lost and spent all his property in prison, as we have 
been doly advertised by some of our especial servants 
in England. 

My dearest lord and brother, I pray you ear- 
nestly, both for my sake, as a reward of the services 
he has done you, and that he may more eagerly 
supplicate God for you and me,* to do him some 
good, and, if it please you, to command the bishop 
of York** to have his money restored to him and to 
be gracious to him. By so doing you will bestow 
great charity and alms. Praying our Lord God to 
give you, my most honoured lord and brother, a 
good and long life. 

From Paris, the 17th day of November. 
By your good sister, 

Mary. 

To my very dear lord and brother the King 
of England. 



LETTER LXX. 



Mary Queen-Dowager of France to her Brother^ 
Henry VIII. a.d. 1515. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, D. VI. FOL. 251. Holograph,'] 

*^* The feelings with which Henry VIII. regarded the marriage of 
his fevourite sister with his no less favoured friend and courtier the 

^ The original phraseology is odd, '* Et a ce quil soit plus curieux 
de prier Dieu pour vous et moy." 

** The archbishop of York, Wolsey, is doubtless the person meant. 



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184 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

duke of Suffolk, have been the subject of some doubt and apparent 
contradiction. A careful comparison of the dates of the corre- 
spondence on the subject, together with the discovery of some hitherto 
unnoticed letters scattered among the unsorted Exchequer historical 
documents, render this perplexed subject clear, and at the same time 
develope the motives which induced so precipitate a step on the part of 
the princess. 

It seems that the condition on which Mary had consented to 
espouse Louis of France was, that on his decease, to which the 
ovely young princess looked forward as a deliverance from thral- 
dom, she should be permitted to marry as she pleased. Such a 
pledge from king Henry, when, as she herself asserts more than once, 
he ** knew well the good mind she bore to my lord of Suffolk,'^' was a 
tacit consent to her marriage with her lover when the death of her 
sickly, and aged, and unloved royal spouse should set her at liberty. 
Louis XII. expired, only eighty-two days after his marriage, on the 
1st of January, 1515. Henry VIII., with the reckless levity which 
characterised so many of his actions, had allowed the duke of Suffolk 
to follow Ibiary to France in the quality of ambassador ; and he had so 
insinuated himself into the favour of the unsuspecting Louis, that he 
was constantly admitted to his society and that of the queen. He 
returned to England for a short time, but again, on the death of 
Louis, succeeded in obtaining an appointment as chief of the embassy 
to condole with the queen and negotiate public affairs with Francis I. 

Mary was so strongly suspected of a design to pledge herself 
to Brandon, that, even during the last illness of Louis XII., Wolsey 
wrote her a monitory epistle, cautioning her against entering into 
any matrimonial pledge in case of his decease.^ To this letter she 
sent a reply, written on her becoming a widow, full of expressions of 
regard to the king and his council, and assuring the cardinal that she 
was not ** in such childhood'' as so to commit herself. This letter 
bears date from Paris, the 10th of January, 1515.<^ The princess had 
taken the alarm, however, lest her long-cherished hopes should be 

*' Letter of Mary to Henry VIII. Miscellaneous Exchequer docu- 
ments, 1st series. No. 1213. 

b Cotton MS. Caligula, D. VI. fol. 268. Draught entirely in 
Wolsey's hand, but considerably damaged by fire. 

c The original is m the Cottonian MS. Vespasian, F. XIII. art. 224. 
It is printed in Sir Henry Ellis' Historical Letters, 1st series, vol. i. 
p. 119. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 185 

friutrated, and the wrote the two followiiig letten to her brother, pro- 
fessing her willingness to abide by his will, but earnestly uiging the 
fulfilment of his promise to permit her to marry for loTe if ever she 
took a second husband. Unfortunately, these letters, with most of 
the others, on the same subject, haye been much burnt at the edges in 
the Cottonian fire. The blanks are in some instsnces conjecturally 
supplied by words placed within crotchets. 



Mine own good and most kind brother, 

I recommend me unto your grace, and thank 
you for the good and kind letters that you have 
sent me, the which has been the greatest comfort 
might be unto me in this world, desiring your grace 
so for to continue, for there is nothing so great a 
store [to] me as for to see you^ the which I would 
very fain have the time for to come, as I trust it 
shall be, or else I would be very sorry, for I think 
every day a thousand till I may see you. 

Sire, whereas your grace sends me word that I will 
not give no credence [to the]m for no suit, nor for no 
other words that shall be given me ; sire, I promise 
your grace that I never made them no promise, nor 
no other fo[r the]m, nor never will [until] that I 
know your [grace's mind] for nobody alive; for 
[your grace] is all the comfort t[hat I have] in this 
world ; [and I trus]t your grace w[ill not] feil, for I 
have noth[ing in this] world that I care for but to 
have the good and [kind] mind that your grace had 
ever toward me, [which] I beseech your grace to 
continue, for therein is my trust that I have in this 



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186 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

world. Sire, as for the letter that yoar grace did 
send me by [Master] Clinton, whereas you send m[e 
word] that I should provide myself [and make] me 
ready for to come to your grace ; sire, an it were 
to-morrow I would be ready : and, as for my lord 
of SuflTolk, and Sir Richard [Wingfield], and Doctor 
West, there be two or [three th]at came from the 
k[ing m]y son* for to have [brought the]m to him by 
the w[ay as they] came hitherward, [and so hindere]d 
them coming [hithe]rward that th* #*#*** 
as I trust shall c[onclude in] a day or two, and then 
[let me] know your mind, for an when I do, I will 
do thecafter. 

Sire, I beseech your grace for to be good lord to 
Mr. John, your surgeon, for my sake^ and that you 
will not be miscontented with him for his long 
tarrying here with me, for I bore him an [ha]nd** 
that your grace were contented that he should be 
here with me awhile ; and so I pray your grace to 
give him leave for to tarry here awhile with me, for 
because I am very ill-diseased with the toothache, 
and the mother^ withal, that some times I wot not 



* Francis I., the son-in-lftw of Louis XIL, adopted this title 
towards his widow. 

^ If this conjectural reading be correct, the phrase is equivalent to 
** I gave him my hand upon it." 

c This is the ancient term for the disease called globut hytferieuB. 
It is thus used by Shakspeare, — 

" Lear, Oh, how this mother swells up toward my heart ! 
Hysterica pamo ! down, thou climbing sorrow, 
Thy element's below !'' — King Lear, Act ii. Scene 4. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 187 

what for to do; but [an I] might see your grace I 
were he[aled]. No more to you at this [time], 
but I pray God [to send] your grace good [life and 
long]. 

By your loving [sister], 

Mart. 

To the king's grace my brother this be 
delivered. 



LETTER LXXI. 



Mary Queen-Dowager of France to her Brother, 
Henry VIII. a.d. 1516. 

[cotton. MS. CAL10ULA, D. VI. FOL. 249. Holography much burnt,'] 

[In my] most kind and [loving wise I] recom- 
mend me unto your grace. I would be very glad to 
hear that your grace were in good health and 
p[eace], the which should be a great comfort to me, 
and that it will please your grace to send more 
oft time to me than you do, for as now I am all out 
of comfort, saving that all my trust is in your grace, 
and so shall be during my life. Sire, I pray your 
grace that it will please your grace to be so good lord 
and brother to me that you will send hither as soon 
as you may possibly hither to me. Sire, I beseech 
your grace that you will keep all the promises that 
you promised me when I took my leave of you by 



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188 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

the w[ater sjide. Sire, your grace knoweth well 
that I did marry for your p1[easure a]t this time, and 
now I trust that you will suffer me to [marry a8]me 
l[iketh fo]r to do ;• for, sire, I k[now that yo]u shall 
have #* #**#*g 
that they * * * for I assure your grace 
that [my mi]nd is not there where they would have 
me, and I trust [your grace] will not do so to me 
that has always been so glad to fulfil your mind as 
I have been : wherefore I beseech your grace for to 
be good lord and brother to me; for, sire, an if 
your grace will have gran[ted] me married in any 
place, [savjing whereas my mind is, I will be there, 
whereas your grace nor no other shall have any joy 
of me : for, I promise your grace, you shall hear that 
I will be in some religious house, the which I think 
your grace would be very sorry of, and all your 
realm. Also, sire, I know well that the king, that 
is [my so]n, will send to your grace by his uncle 
the duke of * * * for to ma[rry me here, but 
I tru]st you[r grace *##*** 
I sha]ll never be merry at my heart, (for an ever 
that I d[o marr]y while I live). I trow your grace 
knoweth as well as I do, and did before I came 

* Grove, in his Life of Wolsey, vol. ii. p. 257, alluding to this 
letter, says that Mary wrote in ^the following manner : ^* That yonr 
grace well knows what I did as to my first marriage was for your 
pleasure, and now I trust you will suffer me to do what I like.'' It is 
probable that Grove, whose work was published in 1742, looked over 
Mary's letters before they suffered so much damage in the Cottonian 
fire in 1731. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 189 

hither, and so I trust your grace will be contented, 
unless I would never marry while I live, but be 
there where never [no] man nor woman shall have 
joy of me ; wherefore I beseech your grace to be 
good lord to him and to me both, for I know well 
that he hath m[et ma]ny hinderances to your grace 
of him and me both. Wherefore, an your grace be 
good lord to us both, I will not care for all the 
world else, but beseech your grace to be good lord 
and brother to me, as you have been here aforetime, 
f[or in you] is all the trust that I have in this world 
after God. No m[ore from m]e at this [time], God 
send your grace [long life an]d your heart's de[8ire8] 
By your humble and loving sister, 

Mary Queen of France. 

To the King my brother this be delivered, in 
haste. 



LETTER LXXII. 



Mary Queen-Dowager of France to her Brother^ 
Henry VIII. a.d. 1615. 

[cotton* MS. CALiouLA, D. VI. FOL. 244. Holograph, much if^ured 
hyfire.l 

\* The young queen-dowager soon found herself most painfully 
situated, owing to the impassioned but dishonourable addresses of 
Francis I., who, though he was already married to the princess Claude, 
daughter of Louis by his first wife, Anne of Bretagne, and therefore 
addressed the widow of his father-in-law as his mother, was yet madly 



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190 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

enamoured of the English princess. This fact is hinted at hy seyeral 
French historians, and is distinctly stated hy hoth Mary and the duke 
of Suffolk in their letters to the English court ; and it was no douht 
the cause why Francis endeavoured to detain her in France hy a 
foreign marriage, as alluded to in the preceding letter. 

Pressed hy perils so immediate, distressed hy the wavering which she 
perceived in her brother's council, whose jealousy of the duke of Suffolk 
led them to fear the increase of his ascendency should this marriage take 
place, and harassed by a report, which reached her from several quarters, 
that there was a design on foot in England to marry her into Flanders, 
and that the duke of Suffolk was sent over to entice her thither, Mary 
took the hold resolution of at once contracting a private union with 
her lover. Though this was kept a profound secret, some rumours of 
the connexion got abroad, and caused the French king to make 
inquiries of Mary about it. Their interview is mentioned in the fol- 
lowing letter, in which Mary pleads for license to contract the marriage 
with her already secretly wedded lord. 



Pleaseth it your grace, the French [king], on 
Tuesday night last [past], came to visit me, and 
[had] with me many diverse [discoursin]g, among 
the vrhich he demanded me whether I had [ever] 
made any promise of marriage in any place, assuring 
me upon his honour, and upon the word of a prince, 
that in case I would be plain [with] him in that 
affair, that he would do for me therein to the best 
of his power, whether it were in his realm or out of 
the same. Whereunto I answered, that i would 
disclose unto him the [secre]t of my heart in 
hu[mili]ty,* as unto the prince of the world after 
your grace in whom I had m[ost trust], and so 
declar[ed unto him] the good mind [which] for 

^ Vou . . . /^e in original. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 191 

divers con8i[derations I] bear to my lord of Suffolk, 
asking him not only [to grant] me bis favour and 
consent thereunto, bat [also] that be would of his 
[own] band write unto your grace, and to pray you 
to bear your like favour unto me, and to be content 
with the same ; the which he granted me to do, and 
so hath done, according as shall appear unto your 
grace by his said [letters]. And, sire, I most humbly 
beseech you to take this answer* which I have 
[made u]nto the French king in good part, the 
which [I did] only to be di8charg[ed of t]he extreme 
pain and annoyance I was i[n, by reason] of such 
suit as t[he French kin]g made unt[o me not accord- 
i]ng with mine honour, [the whi]ch he hath clearly 
left [off]. Also, sire, I feared greatly [lest, in] case 
that I had kept the matter from his knowledge, that 
he might have not well entreated my said lord of 
Suffolk, and the rather [for] to have returned to his 
[former] malfantasy and suits. Whe/efore, sire, 
[sinc]e it hath pleased the said king to desire and 
pray you of your favour and consent, I most hbmbly 
and heartily beseech you that it may like your grace 
to bear your favour and consent to the same, and to 
advertise the said king by your writing of your own 
hand of your pleasure, [and] in that he hath ac[ted 
after] mine opinion [in his] letter of request, [it] 
shall be to your great honour * # * nem to 
content w[ith all] your council, and [with] all the 

* IToWAe in original. 



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192 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

other no[bles of the] realm, and agr[ee thereto] for 
your grace a[nd for all] the world ; and therefore I 
eftsoons requi[re you], for all the love that it liked 
your grace to bear me, that you do not refuse but 
grant me your favour and consent in form before 
rehearsed, the which if you shall deny me, I am well 
assured to [lead] as desolate a life as ever had 
creature, the which I know well shall be mine end. 
Always praying your grace to have compassion of 
me, my most loving and sovereign lord and [brother, 
where]unto I have [entreated] you, beseeching [God 
al]ways to [preserve your] most royal [estate. 
Written] at Paris the 15th day of February. 

[I mo]st humbly beseech your grace to consider, 
in case that you make difficulty to condescend to 
the promises [as I] wish, the French king will take 
new courage to renew his suits to me ; assuring you 
that I had rather to be out of the world than it 
so should happen ; and how he shall entreat my 
lord of Suffolk, God knoweth, with many other 
inconvenience, which might ensue of the same, the 
which I pray our Lord that I may ne[ver ha]ve life 
to see. 

By your loving sister and true servant, 

Mary Queen op France. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 193 



LETTER LXXIII. 

Mary Queen- Dowaffer of France to Archbishop 
Wolsey. A.D. 1516. 

[cotton. MS. CALiGULAi D. VI. FOL. 255. Original, burnt at the, 
edges,"] 

\* Doctor Denton, the almoner of queen Mary, in whose behalf 
the present letter was written, was the only servant who seems to have 
been permitted to remain with her in France. She was sincerely 
attached to him, and retained him for many years in her service. On 
the same day on which the present letter was written, Mary wrote to 
Henry VIII. on the same subject, expressing some displeasure, as 
well as surprise, at the conduct of Wolsey in reference to the prebend 
withheld from her almoner, and requesting his interference.'^ 



Most reverend father in God, 

I recommend me unto you heartily, and I thank 
you for the great kindness that I have evermore 
found in you. My lord, I thank you also for your 
loving letters which you have sent me as hither, to 
my great comfort, and in especial for them which 
you have sent me now of late. My lord, you 
remember, I doubt not, that, at my last being at 
Guildford, you desired the king my brother to give 
unto my trusty and well-beloved almoner, doctor 
Denton, the prebend in St. Stephen's, which as 
then the dean of his chapel, and now bishop of 

*■ Her letter is in the volume of Royal Letters, marked B. IIL 4. 
fol. 59, Rolls-house, date February 18th. 

VOL. I. K 



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194 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Lincoln, had in possession, as then the king's grace 
shewed me in your presence that he should have it, 
and also you promised me the same, and to solicit 
the king my brother for the performance of his 
promise. Nevertheless, I am credibly informed that 
my almoner is disappointed of the said prebend, 
and that your chaplain hath it^ of the which 1 
marvel greatly ; forasmuch as my said almoner hath 
done me good service in this country, to the great 
honour of the king my brother, and mine also, 
and that the promise was made undesired of my 
behalf, for you were the person that only moved the 
king to give it unto my almoner, and I am assured 
that his grace would not have varied without he had 
been persuaded to the contrary. 

My lord, forasmuch as I see you benevolent unto 
me in all my matters, and ever hath been since our 
first acquaintance, and now especially, I pray you, 
therefore, to do so much at mine instance and 
request, to desire your chaplain to resign the said 
prebend to the behoof and use of my said almoner ; 
and I promise you that I will not cease unto (until) 
I have gotten some promotion of the king my 
brother, or else of some other person, for your said 
chaplain, which I trust shall be worth do[uble] the 
value of Saint Stephen's; and, besides that, I shall 
help that he may have the next prebend hereafter in 
Saint Stephen's. I pray you, my lord, send me 
' word of your mind, and that [there be] none excuse 
made; for, I assure you, my lord, [my promise] 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 195 

shall be without any excuse if God send me life ; I 
[will not] say that word that I would not wilfully 
per[form, as] knoweth his grace. Amen. 
From Paris, the 18th d[ay of February,] 
By your loving friend, 

Mary Queen of France. 

To the most reverend father in God 
the Archbifihop of York. 



LETTER LXXIV. 

Mary Queen-Dowager of France to Wolsey, 
A.D. 1515. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, D. VI. FOL. 254. Holograph, much bumi,"] 

*i^t* After the interview between Mary and Francis, referred to in 
a preceding letter, the king had a conversation with Suffolk on the 
subject, which the duke thus details in a letter to Wolsey : — 

" My lord, so it was that the same day that the French king gave 
us audience his grace called me unto him and had me into his bed- 
chamber, and said unto me, — ' My lord of Suffolk, so it is that there 
is a bruit in this my realm that you are come to marry with the queen 
your master's sister ;' and when I heard him say so, I answered him 
and said * ^t T trusted that ^ grace would not reckon so great folly 
in me to come into a strange realm and to marry a queen of the realm 
without his knowledge and without authority from the king my 
master to him, and that they both might be content ; but I said I 
assured his grace that I had no such thing, and that it was never in- 
tended on the king my master's behalf nor on mine ;' and then he said 
' it was not so, for then (since) that I would not be plain with him, he 
would be plain with me,' and shewed me that the queen herself had 
broken her mind unto him, and that he had promised her his fiiith 
and truth, and by the truth of a king that he would help her, and 
to d[o what was possib]ly in him to help her to obtain [this that 



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196 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

she did desijre, 'and because that you shall not th[iiik that I do} 
bear you this in hand and that [she has not spo] ke her mind, I will 
s[hew you some wor]ds that you had to her [grace privily] ;' and so 
shewed me a ware-wordj* the which none alive could tell then but 
she. And when that then I was abashed and he saw that, and said 
' because for (that) you shall say that you have found a kind prince 
and a loving, and because you shall not think m[e other,] here I give 
you in your hand my faith and truth, by the word of a king, that I 
shall never £edl unto you but to help and advance this matter betwixt 
her and you with as good a will as I would for mine own [self.]' 
And when he had done this I could do none less than to thank his grace 
for the great goodness that his grace intended to shew unto the queen 
and me, and by it I shewed his grace that I was like to be undone if 
this matter should come to the knowledge of the king my master: 
and then he said, ' Let me alone for that : I and the queen shall so 
instance your master that I trust that he would be content, and be- 
cause 1 would gladly put your heart at rest, I will when I come to 
Paris speak with the queen, and she and I both will write letters to 
the kiiig your master with our own hands, in the best manner that can 
be devised.' 

*' My lord, these were his proper words. "•» 

Kotwithstanding the opposition of some of his council, the king 
and Wolsey were, or professed to be, decidedly favourable to the 
union. In reply to Suffolk's communication, the cardinal assure^ 
him of his great joy thereat ; that he had conversed with the king 
upon its contents ; and adds, ** his grace marvellously rejoiced to hear 
of your good speed in the same, and how substantially and discreetly 
you ordered and handled yourself in jom words and conversation with 
the said French king, when he first' secretly broke with you of the 
said marriage." He also assures him ''that the king continueth 
firmly in his good mind and purpose toward you for the accomplish- 
ment of the said marriage, albeit th A there be daily on every side 
practices made to the let (hindrance) of the same, which I have 
withstood hitherto, and doubt not but so to do till you shall have 
achieved your intended purpose. "<= A few more weeks, however, 
produced a change of fortunes. Upon an alarm, which afterward* 

*■ Signal- word; word of caution. 
^ Cotton. MS. Caligi D. VT. f. 172. 

^ Letter from Wolsey to Brandon, Miscellaneous Exchequer 
doeoments, Ist series. No. 1669, Rolls-house. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 197 

'proved to be g^undless, that the princess was enceinte, Suffolk 
wrote a confidential letter to Wolsey, dated the 5th of March, ascer- 
taining him of the feet that he was already married, and entreating 
bis secrecy and assistance.* The following is an extract from the 
cardinal's reply : — 

** My lord, — With sorrowful heart I write unto you signifying 
unto the same that \ have to my no little discomfort and inward 
heaviness perceived by your letters, dated at Paris the 5th day of this 
instant month, how that you be secretly married unto the king's sister, 
and have accompanied together as man and wife. And albeit you by 
your said letters desired me in no wise to disclose the same to the 
king's grace, yet seeing the same toucheth not only his honour, your 
promise made to his grace, and also my truth towards the same, I 
could no less do but, incontinent upon the sight of your said letters, 
declare and shew the contents thereof to his highness, which at the 
first hearing could scantly (scarcely) believe the same to be true, but 
after I had shewed to his grace that by your own writing I had know- 
ledge thereof, his grace giving credence thereunto took the same 
grievously and displeasantly, not only for that you durst presume to 
marry his sister without his knowledge, but also for breaking of your 
. promise made to his grace in his hand, I being present, at ElUiam ; 
having also such assured affiance in your truth that for all the world, 
and to have been torn with wild horses, you would not have broken 
your oath, promise, and assurance made to his grace, which he doth 
well perceive that he is deceived of the constant and affirmed trust 
that he thought to have found in you. And for my part, no man can 
- be more sorry than I am that you have so done, and so his grace 
would I should expressly write uiito you, being so incholered (enraged) 
therewith tiiat I cannot devise nor study by the remedy thereof, con- 
sidering that you have failed to him which hath brought you up of 
low degree to be of this great honour, and that you were the man in 
all the world he loved and trusted best, and was content that, with 
good order and saving of his honour, you should have in marriage 
his said sister. Cursed be the blind affection and counsel that hath 
brought you hereunto, fearing that such sudden and unadvised diligence 
shall have sudden repentance." 

The cardinal goes on to make some friendly suggestions as to the 

• Letter from Brandon to Wolsey. Cotton. MS. Calig. D. VI. 
fol. 176. 



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198 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

best mode of bribing Henry, by offering him a large share in the 
dower, jewels, plate, &c., of the princess.* Under these drciim- 
stances Mary addressed the following letters to Wolsey and the king. 



My very good lord, 

In my most hearty manner I recommend me 
onto you, letting you the same to understand that 
my lord of SuflTolk hath sent me your letters which 
lately he received by Cooke, by which I perceive 
the faithful good mind which you do bear unto us 
both, and how that you be determined not to leave 
us in our extreme trouble ; for the which your most 
fast (faithful) and loving dealing I most entirely 
thank you, requiring you to continue towards us as 
you have been, which shall never be forgotten in 
any of our behalfs, but to the uttermost of our 
power we shall be always ready to shew [you all] 
faithful kindness ; [as knowe]th our Lord, who [send 
you long] life. Written [this . . . day o]f M[arc]h. 

My lord, I require you that I may have so com- 
fortable letters from the king my brother and from 
you, for I trow there was never woman that had 
more need. 

By your loving friend, 

Mary Queen of France. 

To my lord of York. 



*■ Miscellaneous Exchequer documents, 1st series, No. 1213; a 
corrected draught, entirely in Wolsey's hand. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 199 



LETTER LXXV. 



Mary Queen-Dowager of France to her Brother^ 
King Henry VIII. a.d. 1615. 

[cotton. MS. CALiouLA, D. VI. FOL. 242. Holography the edget 
much burnt.'] 

Pleaseth it your grace, to my greatest discomfort, 
sorrow, and disconsolation, but lately I have been 
advertised of the great and high displeasure which 
your highness beareth unto me and my lord of 
Suffolk for the marriage between us. Sire, I will 
not in any wise deny but that I have offended your 
grace, for the which I do put myself most humbly 
in your clemency and mercy. Nevertheless, to the 
intent that your highness should not think that I 
had simply, carnally, or of any sensual appetite 
done the same, I having no re[gar]d to fall in your 
grace's displeasure, I assure your grace that I had 
never done [against your] ordinance and consent, 
but by the r[eason of the grea]t despair w[herein I 

was put] by the two fr[iars ] which hath 

certifi[ed me] in case I come [to] En [gland] your 
council would never consent to the marriage between 
the said lord and me, with [ma]ny other sayings con- 
cerni[ng] the same promise, so that I verily [thought] 
that the said friar[s] would never have offered to 
have made me like ove[rture] unless they might 
have had charge from some of your council, the 



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200 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

which put me in such consternation, fear, and doubt 
of the obtaining of the thing which I desired most 
in this world, that I rather chose to put me in your 
mercy accomplishing the marriage than to put me in 
the order of your council [knowing the]m to be other- 
ways [minded]. Whereupon, sire, I put [my lord of 
8u]ffolk in choice w[hether he woul]d accomplish 
th[e marriagje within f[our days, or else that he 
should never have] enjoyed me ;• whereby I know 
well that I constrained him to break such promises 
as he made your grace, as well for fear of losing of me 
as also that I ascertained him that by their consent 
I would never come into England. And now that 
your grace knoweth the both offences, of the which 
I have been the only occasion, I most humbly and 
as your most [sorrow]ful sister requiring you to have 
compassion upon us both and to pardon our offences, 
and that it will please your grace to write to me and 
to my lord of Suffolk some [comfor]table words, for 
it sh[ould be] greatest com/ort for u[s both.] 

By your loving and most humble sister, 

Mary. 

To the King's grace. 



Brandon's own account of tbe interview, in which the eloquence of 
the beautifdl queen so wrought upon him that he broke the promise 

» She dechired to the duke, *' that unless he resolred to marry her 
within four days, she would never have him." — Grove's L\ft af 
Wokey, vol. ii. p. 257. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 201 

he had made not to marry her without the kmg's consent, is as 
follows : — » 

** Sire, — So it is, that When I came to Paris the queen was in hand 
with me the first day [after], and said she must be short with me, 
and [shew] to me her pleasure and mind, and so she b[egan] unto me 
and shew how good lady she was to me, and if I would be ordered [by 
her] she would never have none but me, [and so] she shewed me that 
she had yerily und[erstood a]s well by friar Langley and friar 

F tar that an ever she came in Eng[land she shou]ld 

never have me, and therefore she [told me plainly] that an I would 
not marry her,'' [then, she should neve]r have me nor never come 
[into England. An]d when I heard her say so I shewed [her that 
fehe] said that but to prove me with, and she [said * that] I would not 
you know well :* that [at] my coming [to Paris h]ow it was shewed 
her, and I asked her [what that wa]s, and she said that the best in 
^France had been unto her, that an she went into England she should 
go into Flanders, to the which she said that she had rather to be torn 
in pieces than ever she would come there, and with that weeped, I 
never saw woman so weep. And when T saw [that] , I shewed her grace 
that there was none such thing by my faith with the best words I could, 
but in no wise I could make her believe it ; and when I saw that, I 
shewed her grace that, an her grace would be content to write unto your 
grace and to obtain your good will, I would be content, or else I 
durst not, because I had made unto your grace such a promise: 
whereunto in conclusion she said : ' If the king my brother is con- 
tent, and the French king, both the one by his letters and the other 
by his words, that I should have you, I will have the time after my 
desire, or else I may well think that the words of them in these parts 
and of them in England are true ; and that is, that you are come to 
tice me hence, to the intent that I may be married into Flanders, the 
which I will never to die for it, and so [I promi]sed the French king 
ere you came : and th[u8 if so be] you will not be content to follow 
[after my mi]nd, look, never after this day [shall you have] the proffer 

again. And, sire, I saw me^ in that case, and I thought but 

rather to put me in y[our mercy] than to lose all, and so I granted 
thereunto, and so she and I ^v^ married.'' 

» Cotton. MS. Calig. D. VI. fol. 180 b. 

^ Ibid. fol. 182. 

^ Ibid. fol. 181 b. The foliation of this letter is very irregular, 

k2 



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202 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER LXXVL 

Mary Queen-Dowager of France to Wolsey, 
A.D. 1615. 

[royal lettbks, vol. b. III. 4, FOL. 56, ROLLS-HousK. OrigtwU,'] 

My very good lord, 

With all my heart I commend me unto you. I 
understand that it hath pleased the king my brother 
to promote doctor West, being here one of his 
ambassadors, to the bishoprick of Ely, whereof I 
am right glad. By reason of which promotion he 
must depart with divers of his benefices, among 
which he hath two, one called Egglesfield, in the 
bishopric of Durham, and the other the archdeaconry 
of Derby, which (as I am informed) be of no great 
value. Beseeching you, my lord, at mine instance, 
and for my sake, to be so good lord unto my ser- 
vant John Palgrave, master of art, which hath done 
unto me right good and acceptable service, to his 
and his friends' great charge, and on my part as yet 
hitherto unremembered, as by your good wisdom 
and provision to find the means that he may have 
one 6f the said benefices. Heartily praying you and 
trusting that you will do it with effect, and to re- 
scribe unto me your good will done therein. And 
thus the Holy Ghost preserv0^ou. 

From Paris, the third day of April. 

Mart Quben of France. 

To my lord of York. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 203 



LErrER LXXVII. 

Mary Queen-Dowager of France to her Brother y 
Henry VIII. a.d. 1515. 

[miscellaneous exchequer documents, first series, 
NO. 1213, rolls-house. Corrected Draught,'] 

*;!,* Mary's penitent letter before given was evidently the first 
effusion of the sorrowful bride when she was informed of her brother's 
indignation at her stolen love-match. The present letter was the 
more formal document, which, though addressed to the king, was in- 
tended to be laid before his council as an excuse for herself and her 
husband, and was dictated for her by her prudent Mend and coun- 
sellor Wolsey. The frequency with which Mary reiterates her assur- 
rances that this marriage was of her own choosing, and without any 
solicitation from her bridegroom, is evidently intended to shelter the 
latter, who had failed in persuading the king to allow him to marry 
the queen publicly before they left France,* and whose position ren- 
dered him far more open to the assaults of his enemies, and his still 
more dangerous secret rivals, than from her rank, her sex, and her near 
relationship to the sovereign she could possibly be. Henry YIII. had 
not as yet begun to manifest his disregard of any of these considera- 
tions, when they interfered with his own revengeful or licentious 
passions. 

The date of this letter must be about the latter end of April, for 
it was not till the 16th of April that Mary and her husband left Paris.'' 
They succeeded, however, on their arrival in England in obtaining a 
full pardon for their offence; and a public marriage, solemnised at 
Greenwich on the 13th of May, gave the royal sanction to this ro- 
mantic love-match. 

» Letter of Brandon to Wolsey, 12th March, 1515. Wolsey Cor- 
respondence, vol. xi. pt. 2, fol. 77. 

*» Letter of Charles Brandon to Wolsey. Wolsey Correspondence, 
vol. xi. pt. 2, fol. 79. State Paper Office, Holograph, date April 17, 
1515. 



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204 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

My most dear and entirely beloved brother, 

In most humble manner* I recommend me to 
your grace* 

Dearest brother, I doubt not but that you have 
in your good remembrance that whereas for the 
good of peace and for the furtherance of your affairs 
you moved me to marry with my lord and late hus- 
band, king Louis of France, whose soul God par- 
don. Though I understood that he was very aged 
and sickly, yet for the advancement of the said 
peace, and for the furtherance of your causes, I was 
contented to conform myself to your said motion, so 
that if I should fortune to survive the said late 
king I might with your good will marry myself at 
my liberty without your displeasure. Whereunto, 
good brother, you condescended and granted, as you 
well know, promising unto me that in such case you 
would never provoke or move me but as mine own 
heart and mind should be best pleased; and that 
wheresoever I should dispose myself, you would 
wholly be contented with the same. And upon that, 
your good comfort and faithful promise, I assented 
to the said marriage, which else I would never 
have granted to, as at the same time I shewed unto 
you more at large. Now that God hath called 
my said late husband to his mercy, and that I am 
at my liberty, dearest brother, remembering the 

* It was at first written, ** In most tender and loying manner pos- 
sible;'' the alteration is in Wolsey's hand. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. Q05 

great virtues which I have seen and perceived here- 
tofore in my lord of Suffolk, to whom I have always 
been of good mind, as you well know, I have affixed 
and clearly determined myself to marry with him ; 
and the same [I] assure you hath proceeded only of 
mine own mind, without any request or labour of 
my said lord of Suffolk, or of any other person. 
And to be plain with your grace, I have so bound 
myself unto him that for no cause earthly I will or 
may vary or change from the same.* Wherefore 
my good and most kind brother, I now beseech your 
grace to take this matter in good part, and to give 
unto me and to my said lord of Suffolk your good 
will herein. Ascertaining you, that upon the trust 
and comfort which I have, for that you have always 
honourably regarded your promise, I am now come 
out of the realm of France, and have put myself 
within your jurisdiction in this your town of Calais, 
where I intend to remain till such time as I shall 
have answer from you of your good and loving 
mind herein; which I would not haVe done but 
upon the faithful trust that I have in your said pro- 
mise. Humbly beseeching your grace, for the great 

» This sentence was originally written, — " So it is, brother, as 
yon well know, I have always borne good mind towards my lord of 
Suffolk; and him, as the case doth now reqnire with me, I can love be- 
fore all other, and upon him I have perfectly set my mind — settled 
and determined; and upon the good comfort of your said promise the 
matter is so far forth that for no cause earthly I will vary or change 
from the same. And of me and of mine own towardness and mind 
only hath it proceeded." 



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206 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

and tender love which ever hath been and shall be 
between you and me, to bear your gracious mind 
and shew yourself to be agreeable thereunto, and 
to certify me by your most loving letters of the 
same, till which time I will make mine abode 
here, and no farther enter your realm. And to 
the intent it may please you the rather to conde- 
scend to this my most hearty desire^ I am contented 
and expressly promise and bind me to you, by 
these presents, to give you all the whole dote 
(dowry) which was delivered with me, and also all 
such plate of gold and jewels as I shall have of my 
said late husband^s. Over and besides this I shall, 
rather than fail, give you as much yearly part of 
my dower, to as great a sum as shall stand with 
your will and pleasure ; and of all the premises I 
promise, upon knowledge of your good mind, to 
make unto you sufficient bonds. Trusting, verily, 
that in fulfilling of your said promise to me made, 
you will shew your brotherly love, affection, and 
good mind to me in this behalf, which to hear of I 
abide with most desire ; and not to be miscontented 
with my said lord of Suffolk, whom of mine inward 
good mind and affection to him I have in manner 
enforced to be agreeable to the same, without any 
request by him made ; as knoweth our Lord, whom 
I beseech to have your grace in his merciful go- 
vernance. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 207 



LETTER LXXVIII. 

Queen Catherine of Ar agon to the Sub* Prior of 
Anglesea, a.h. 1515. 

[historical MS. VOL. I. NO. 30. IN THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF 

DAWSON TURNER, Esa. Original."] 

\* Anglesea Priory in Cambridgeshire was in the gift of queen 
Catherine. John Barton resigned the office of prior in 1515 and was 
succeeded by William Sedgwick, who was elected Dec. 22d, in the 
same year. 



By the Queen. 

Trusty and well-beloved in God, we greet you 
well. 

And whereas we be credibly informed that sir 
John Barton, late prior of that our house, hath now 
of late resigned his right and possession of the same, 
so that now our said house is void and destitute of a 
head to rule and order the same as it appertaineth; 
we, tendering the weal and furtherance of you and 
of our said house, will therefore and strictly com- 
mand you, that you in no wise do proceed to the 
election of any other person to be prior and gover- 
nor of the same, unto such time as you have of us 
a new grant and license so to do, with the know- 
ledge of our farther mind and pleasure in that behalf. 
Not failing thus to do, as you intend to have us your 
good and gracious lady hereafter, and will avoid the 
contrary at your farther perils. 



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208 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Given under our signet, at my lord's manor of 
Oaking, the 7th day of September. 

Catherine the Queen. 

To our trusty [and wcll-belovcd the] Subprior 
and [convent] of Anglesea. 



LETTER LXXIX. 

Margaret Queen of Scotland to Henry VIII. 
A.D. 1515. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. III. FOL. 273. OriginalJ\ 

\* In answer to the repeated appeals of his sister, who com- 
plained that having laid her jewels in pledge she was ready to die for 
hunger, Henry VIII. threatened war against Scotland, whilst at the 
same time he privately exhorted the queen to fly with her children to 
England. Some rumours of this got abroad, and also that, failing 
issue of his own line, Henry intended to make the eldest boy king of 
England and the younger king of Scotland ; therefore, says lord 
Fleming, in a letter in which he communicates this information to the 
earl of Huntley, ** I pray you ye cause to gar keep the bairns well.'^* 
Margaret professed herself willing and ready to comply with her 
brother's request and go to England,*^ especially as she was greatly dis- 
tressed for money ,^ but was unable for the reasons she assigns in the 
two following letters. She wrote on the same day in a similar strain 
to lord Dacre,^ but her reasonings fiiiled to convince her correspond- 
ents, as their replies contain reiterated entreaties on the same subject.* 

» Cotton. MS. Calig. B. I. fol. 25, date 11th Dec. 1514. 

1^ Letter from James English, lord Dacre's captain, to Adam 
Williamson, date January 22d, 1515. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. I. 
fol. 22. 

^ The same to the same, ibid. fol. 26. 

^ Ibid. fol. 28. 

« Dacres to Margaret, January 27th, 1515. Cotton. MS. Cal. B. II. 
fol. 292. Williamson to Margaret, same date, ibid. fol. 152. Wil- 
liamson to the apostolate of Arbroath, ibid. fol. 303. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 209 

Right excellent, high, and mighty prince, and 
dearest brother, 

I commend me to you "with all my heart. I have 
received instructions from the lord Dacres by my 
servant, sir James English, this 21st day of January, 
made by the advice of you and your council, wherein 
1 consider the great affection and love that you have 
to me, my children, my husband, and his friends, 
whose counsel I would be gladder to do than to 
make me the greatest lady of the world. Yet it 
comforts mine heart to hear your fraternal desire ; 
but it is impossible to be performed by any manner 
of fashion that I, my husband, or his uncle can de- 
vise ; considering what watch and spies there is 
daily where I am, and I dare disclose my counsel to 
none other but God. If • I were such a woman that 
might go with my bairn in mine arm, I trow I 
should not be long from you, whose presence I de- 
sire most of any man. I trust, dear brother, to de- 
fend me from mine enemies, if I had sufficient ex- 
penses to (till) the coming of your help ; but I am 
so super-expended that I doubt that poverty shall 
cause me to consent to some of their minds, which 
I shall never do without your counsel, as long as I 
have a groat to spend. . Wherefore I pray you to 
. send me some money, as you think necessary ; for 
it is not your honour that I or my children should 
want. Also, brother, I have sent to you in this 
other writing, how the bishop of Dunkeld is de- 

» Sen in orig. 



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210 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

ceased, whose benefice I have given to the aposto- 
late, my husband's uncle ; for the bishop of Mur- 
ray has purchased all the other benefices of this 
country. I have written to the pope for the said 
apostolate,^ and I beseech you to farther the same 
at the pope*s hands, for I am right much beholden 
to him. All other things as occurs in the country 
Mr. Adam Williamson can shew you, to whom you 
shall give credence ; and the Holy Trinity have you 
in keeping. 

At Perth, the 22d day of January. 

Your loving sister, 

Mabgarbt R. 

To the right excellent, high, and mighty 
prince, our dearest brother the King of 
England. 



LETTER LXXX. 

Margaret Queen of Scotland to Adam Williamson, 

[royal letters, vol. b. III. 7, FOL. 28, ROLLS-HOUSE. OHgindl.'] 

*^* Adam Williamson was the chaplain and faithful friend of queen 
Margaret. In his reply to the present letter, urging her to follow the 
advice of her brother, who was " the best prince the world ever had," 
he says, ** Pardon me, madam, though I write plain to your grace. I 
speak of true heart. I have been in so great danger, and lost my 
goods also, for your sake and in your service, that if anything should 
come to you but good, as God forbid, my days should be short in this 
world ; if your grace prosper and do well, I care not for all my labour, 
and loss. '^ I' 

^ The united letter of James and Margaret is in Cotton. MS. Calig. 
B. II. fol..364. 

«» Cotton. MS. Calig. B. II. fol. 152, date Jan. 27th, 1515. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 211 

Trusty clerk. 

We greet you heartily well, and we have re- 
ceived your counsel, with the instructions from our 
familiar clerk, sir James English, and considered 
the same ; which was right pleasant to us, if it had 
been possible to do after the said counsel : but as 
yourself may well consider the inopportunity that 
was when you were here, and since far more, and 
that folk of this land are so inquisitive that such 
thing may not be performed without great know- 
ledge to sundry folks, and there is none that I may 
trust but my husband and his uncle, which are right 
glad thereto if it might be ; praying to [you] be dili- 
gent in all matters, as you have been in time past. 
In other things give credence to the apostolate and 
sir James' writings. 

At Perth, the 22d day of January. 

Margaret R. 

To our trusty clerk^ Master 
Adam Williamson. 



LETTER LXXXI. 

Margaret Queen of Scotland to Henry VIII. 
A.D. 1515. 

[rotal letters, vol. b. III. 7y NO. 25, rolls-house. OriffinaL"] 

%* On the 17th of May, 1515, the duke of Albany landed in Scot- 
land, and in the following July was formally installed protector and 



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212 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

goyernor.^ Queen Margaret, knowing herself in some measure in his 
power, and having failed to obtain from England the vigorous aid she 
needed, tried at first to compromise matters with him, and received 
him with much courteousness. For a few months all went on 
smoothly, until Albany, upon pretence of a plot discovered to convey 
the young king to England, seized him and his brother at Stirling 
castle, where they were residing with their mother, and made him- 
self master of their persons.^ To avoid the reflections likely to be 
cast upon him if he, the next heir to the throne, assumed the personal 
guardianship of the princes, he appointed three lords to attend upon 
them, removing the queen from them, and only allowing her occasional 
access to tiiem. At first Margaret feigned satisfaction with the new 
arrangements, and, partly from policy, partly from compubion, wrote 
the following letters to her brother and lord Dacres on the subject, 
and also another, now lost, in the following month, which Henry VIII. 
discovered to be forced, because it was not in the hand of her own 
clerk, and was only subscribed Margaret R. and not *^ your loving 
sister,'' according to the signal agreed on between them.^ 



Right excellent, right high, and mighty prince 
and dearest brother, 

I commend me unto you with all my heart. I 
have received your writing from Unicorn herald, 
wherein you reproved me of certain things that I 
have done which is not to your pleasure. Verily, 
brother, I wrote to you as I found cause, and trust 
that I and my cousin the duke of Albany, governor, 
shall continue on that fashion, that unity and peace 
may persevere betwixt both the realms. It is ordained 

» Dacre to the lords of the council, August 1st, 1515. Cotton. MS. 
Calig. B. II. fol. 341. 

^ Lesley, de rebus gestis Scotomm, pp. 376-377. Interesting details 
of this affair are in the letter above quoted, and in another, dated 
Aug. 7. Ibid. foL 369. 

« Credence sent to Henry VIII. Cotton. MS. CaUg. B. II. fol. 
368. Letter from Dacres and Magnus to Hen. VIII., Sept. 1st, 
1515. Calig. B. VI. fol. 80. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 213 

in this realm, with consent of the governor, in plane 
(full) parliament, that three lords which were most 
convenient therefor should have the charge and 
keeping of the king and his brother, my sons ; 
which lords I consented to receive. Nevertheless I 
have presence of my children at my pleasure, and 
enter to them whenever I will. Brother, I am de- 
termined that I and my said cousin shall take one 
part, for I know it is most for my profit. There- 
fore I pray you send some wise man to see and 
know the state, and to make a sure way betwixt me 
and him, and write your letters to him thereupon 
to entreat me and my children honestly ; for I know 
that he will do the better to me for your sake. 
And if I find otherwise, I shall advertise you by the 
said wise man that you shall send. My cousin, the 
king of France, has sent me writing by this bearer, 
and prays me that I will entreat and do my dili- 
gence to keep the peace betwixt the realms, the 
which I pray you to do in like wise for my re- 
quest. Brother, I purpose, by the grace of God, to 
take my chamber and lie in my palace of Linlith- 
gow within this twelve days, for I have not past 
eight weeks to my time ; at the which I pray Jesu 
to send me good speed and happy deliverance, and 
to have you, dear brother, eternally in his keeping. 
At Edinburgh, the 20th day of August. 
Your loving sister, 

Margaret R. 

To the right exceUent, right high, and 
mighty prince and our dearest brother, the 
King of England. 



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214 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER LXXXII. 

Margaret Queen of Scotland to Lord Dacres. 
[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. VI. FOL. 78. Original,'} 

Well-beloved cousin, 

I commend me heaftily to you. Please you wit, 
I have written to my brother the king of England^ 
shewing him that the lords of Scotland, with consent 
of my lord duke of Albany, governor, in plane 
(open) parliament, has ordained three wise lords, 
convenient thereto, to have the charge and keeping 
of the king and his brother, my children, to whom 
I have consented to receive them. Nevertheless I 
have presence of my said children to have free issue 
and entry to them, with my servants, whenever I 
please. And how I am deliberate (determined) that 
the governor and I shall take one-fold* part, and 
has desired my said brother to send some wise man 
from him, to the effect to make a hearty sure way 
and concord betwixt me and my said lord duke. 
And in like wise has mentioned how the king of 
France has written to me affectionately, exhorting 
me to do my diligence to keep peace betwixt the 
realms. Wherefore I have prayed my brother to 
maintain the same, and desire you heartily to farther 
it in like wise at your power, and to farther this 
bearer in his journey, as our trust is in you, whom 
the blessed Lord have in his keeping. 

^ Ane-qfald in orig. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 215 

Written under my signet, and subscribed with 
my hand, at Edinburgh, the 20th of August. 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 



The tme sentiinents of the queen are, however, ascertained by the 
fbUowing document, entitled, — 

A Remembrance qf an ir^ormation by me, Margaret 
queen qf Scots, to be shewed for my declaration 
to the Ambassador qf Scot land. *■ 

First when I waa in my castle of Stirling, and the king and his 
brother, my tender children, with me, afore the coming of the duke 
of Albany into Scotland, the lords would have come and have entered 
into my castle, to have been more stronger therein than I myself. 

And after that I set a parliament, whereunto the lords disobeyed, 
and thereupon sent for the said duke of Albany to come into Scotland 
and moved him to marry me, and caused him to send tokens to me 
for marriage. 

Whereupon I was driven by force either to steal away and leave my 
said children or to marry there, seeing the suspicion that the said 
duke was in, and the pretence that his father made before him to the 
crown of ScotUnd. 

And at the coming of the said duke into Scotland he made me 
feir and pleasant semblance, and afterwards purposed by the advice 
of his council to take the king and his brother, my said tender chil- 
dren, from me. And thereupon caused the lord Drummond, being 
constable of my said castle of Stirling, which had the keeping of my 
said tender children, to be accused ; because the said lord Drummond 
waved his sleeve'^ at an herald, and gave him upon the breast with his 
hand, for because the said herald behaved him otherwise than he 
ought to do, saying that he came in message from the lords to my 
lady the king's mother, which was before the coming of the said duke 
into Scotland. 

And after that also committed the apostolate of Arbroath to ward, 



» Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. fol. 105. 
•» Sleif'm orig. 



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216 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

because that I wrote a letter to the pope's holiness in commendatioa 
of the said apostolate to the bishoprick of Dunkeld; and also that 
the king's highness, my dearest brother, at mine instance, wrote an- 
other letter to the pope's said holiness in the favour of the said aposto* 
late: whereupon I came down to the Holyrood-house to solicit and 
labour to the said duke (sore weeping) for the said lord Drummond 
and apostolate, being my councillors; but grace got I none. And 
then other of my councillors and servants, seeing that, withdrew them 
all from me, except my lord of Angus and the lord chamberlain. 

And thereupon the said duke of Albany, by the advice of his 
council, appointed three lords to have the keeping of my said children, 
the king and his brother, as more at large it appeareth in a bill of 
supplication given unto the king's said highness, my dearest brother, 
of my matters aforesaid. 

And for to say that ever I was agreeable, content, or pleased, that 
the said duke of Albany should come into Scotland, or that ever he 
did justice, or meddled with justice, but only vexed and troubled me 
and my friends, it appeareth in the said supplication, which I am ready 
to justify, point by point. 

Endorsed, *' 1515, a Remembrance of the 
Queen of Scots." 



LETTER LXXXIII. 
Queen Margaret to the Duke of Albany, a.d. 15Id« 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. VI. FOL. 119 b.] 

*^* The queen had now come to an open rupture with Albany, and 
faer position became so distressing, especially as she was again on the 
eve of becoming a mother, that lord Dacres wrote to her on the part 
of her brother, offering her an asylum in England, promising to meet 
her himself at Berwick, and that she should neither want ** stuff, 
household, nor money" necessary for her condition.' The plan of her 

» Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VL fol. 81, date Sept. 1, 1515. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 217 

escape was accordingly arranged by herself in the following document 
sent to her brother, entitled, — 

Credence gwen to the Lord Daeres and Thomas Magnue 
from the Queen of ScotSj by her trusty servant 
Robin Corr.* 

First, the said queen sheweth that the duke of Albany hath com- 
pelled and constrained her to subscribe and write divers letters con- 
trary to her own mind, and against all right and conscience ; and not 
only keepeth her so straitly in Edinburgh, that neither she can nor 
may see nor send to the king and prince her children, nor to other her 
friends, for her relief and comfort in her causes, and therefore from 
thence she can make none escape. 

Also, that the said duke hath not only taken from her divers her 
special friends, and kept them in ward, but also withholdeth from her 
all the profits and revenues of her lands ; so that she is at extreme 
poverty for want of goods, and therefore beseecheth your grace of 
your good help, succour, and assistance. 

And for her repairing to Blackater, as is devised, she hath 
ordained that she will feign herself to be sick at Edinburgh, and 
therefore will go to a town of her own, called Linlithgow, twelve miles 
beyond'' Edinburgh, appointed by the consent of the said duke; 
whereas she shall take her chamber, and being there with the earl 
Angus her husband, the first or second night of her coming thither 
will depart without any man or woman with her, but only herself, her 
husband, and four or five servants that shall not be privy to any part 
of her purpose ; and within two or three miles of the said town, it is 
devised how the lord chamberlain of Scotland, with convenient num. 
ber, shall receive her for her sure conveyance to Blackater aforesaid. 
And in case this practice fiiil the night appointed, then the said cham- 
berlain shall bum some town of the duke's, and some other ruffling, 
and so depart into his country again till another night appointed for 
the same practice, which the queen wiU not fedl to foUow ; insomuch 
that she hath required to have for her said conveyance forty hardy and 
well-striking fellows. And notwithstanding her grace is within six 
weeks of her lying down, yet she hath ascertained us she hath good 

» Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. fol. 85. 

*> So the word seems to have been first written, and then either 
crossed out or altered to by west 

VOL. I. L 



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218 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

health, and is strong enough to take upon her this journey. Men and 
horses be {^pointed for her accordingly, and the chamberlain in his 
own person shall be captain and conductor of the said matter. And 
for performance of the premises, her grace hath sent unto your high- 
ness a ring of gold herein inclosed. 

The attempt^ to escape from Scotland having proved successftil, 
Margaret reached Harbottle in safety ; and though Albany sent to offer 
her terms, and the restoration of her jewels, if she would return to Scot- 
land, she refused to comply.* On the 7th of October she there gave 
premature birth to a daughter.^ This child of sorrow was the lady 
Margaret Douglas, the mother of Henry Damley, and grandmother of 
Mary queen of Scots ; but so little was her birth regarded, that a 
fortnight elapsed before Dacres and Magnus, the English commissioners 
on the borders, thought proper to apprise Henry VIII. of the event. 
Their cool and laconic letter has been printed by Sir Henry Ellis. <^ 

The present letter contains the queen's formal announcement of the 
event to the regent Albany, and is written in a spirit of defiance. It 
was answered in terms equally stem from Albany and the council, in- 
forming her that by her second marriage she had lost all claim to the 
regency, and that her party would be proceeded against as rebels. 
Neither letter contains the slightest allusion to the birth of her infmt. ^ 



Cousin, 

I heartily commend me unto you, and where I 
have been enforced for fear and danger of my life, 
many things considered, to depart forth of the realm 
of Scotland into this the realm of England. So it is, 
that by the grace of Almighty God I am now deli- 
vered, and have a Christian soul, being a young 

<^ Margaret to the French ambassador, Oct. 6, 1515. Cotton. MS. 
CaUg. B. VI. fol. 125. 

^ See the exact date given by Margaret in -a declaration of h^ 
wrongs, dated March 1, 1516. Ibid. B. II. fol. 211. 

^ Historical Letters, 2d series, vol. i. p. 165. 

d Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. ff. 120, 121, date Oct. 13, 1515. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 219 

lady, desiring you in God's name, and for your 
honour, as right and good justice requireth, that 
you suffer me, as tutrix of the young king and 
prince, my tender children, to have the whole rule 
and governance, as well of them as of the said 
realm of Scotland, according to the last will and 
testament of my late spouse and husband, the late 
king of Scotland — whom Christ for his passion 
pardon — approved and confirmed by the pope's ho- 
liness, according as his said holiness signifieth unto 
you and exhorteth you to do, as now I move and 
require you, and that it may like you to ascertain 
me how you be minded to do in that behalf, &c. 
At Harbottle, the 10th day of October. 



LETTER LXXXIV. 
Queen Margaret to Cardinal Wolsey. a.d. 1516. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. II. FOL. 283. Holograph,"] 

*ni* The anxieties endured by Margaret rendered her recovery 
firom her confinement slow and tedious ; her iUness being at one time 
so severe that her life was despaired of.' Meantime her partisans 
were not idle in Scotland. Her husband the earl of Angus, with 
the earls of Arran and Home, entered into a solemn covenant to free 
the royal children and stand by each other in determined opposition to 
Albany,'' and they became sufficiently formidable to lead the regent to 
desire an accommodation with Margaret. She was now waiting at 
Morpeth a summons to the English courti and it delayed so long that 

» Lesley, p. 379. Cotton. MS. CaUg. B. II. fol. 211. 

*> Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. fol. 124 b, date Oct. 15tfa, 1515. 



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LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



she began to listen more ^Eiyourably to Albany. Of this Henry's 
agents informed him, adding, however, ** though her grace at some 
times hath not made us privy to every thing, yet she, as a great wise 
woman, persevereth and resteth upon this : — ^that she will do nothing 
without the consent of your grace/' They add that they have taken 
care her letters to Albany should be so worded as that no good under- 
standing should ensue between them ; they advise Henry to send for 
her and write her comfortable letters, "for by occasion of the daily 
messengers that come unto her firom out of Scotland, she is troubled 
at some times in her mind, and put in study to imagine and cast what 
her grace is best for to do."* 

Thus urged, Henry sent for his sister. On the 8th of April she 
set out for London, ^^ and she remained some time in his court; but he 
treated her somewhat superciliously, and allowed her to suffer so much 
from poverty that she addressed the two following begging letters to 
Wolsey.*^ 



My lord cardinal, 

I commend me to you, and you know [how] that 
I have spoken to you, and caused master Magnus to 
speak to you, for some money to me. My lord, I 
am very sorry to put the king's grace to so great 
cost and charges as I do, howbeit that I have been 
in times past, I shall not be so in time to come ^ 
nevertheless I think I should be like his sister, to 
his honour and mine. Now, my lord, you know the 
time of Christmas is near, and part of things I will 
need both to me and my servants, and I trust to get 
part of money out of Scotland, for you may see they 

^ Dacre and Magnus to Henry VIIL, date March 15th, 1516. 
Cotton. MS. CaKgula, B. VI. fol, 99. 

»» Dacre to Henry VIII., April 12, 1516. Ibid. B. III. fol. 32. 

^ Several of Margaret's letters, while in England, are printed by 
Sir H. Ellis, Ist series, vol. i. p. 127 et seq. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 221 

are owing much, and say they will cause me to be 
paid, which, an it be not, I have as great wrong as 
is possible; but my trust is that the king's grace my 
brother will see me have reason, and therefore I 
pray you my lord to let me borrow so much as 200/. 
English, and I shall give you a writing of mine own 
hand, to cause my lord Dacres to take off as much 
of mine of the first that is gotten now, and I shall 
trouble you no more for no money, for I trust to 
get mine own, and I shall do the best I can with it. 
I pray you heartily my lord to put me off no longer, 
for the time is short, and if you will do so much for 
me at this time, I pray you send me word, for I will 
trouble you no more with my sending, for then I 
will speak to the king my brother, for I trust his 
[grace] will do so much for me and trust me for a 
greater thing. As our Lord knoweth, whom keep 
you. 

Mabgaret R. 

To my Lord Cardinal. 



LETTER LXXXV. 

Queen Margaret to Cardinal Wohey, a.d. 1517. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 252. Holograph,"] 

My lord cardinal, 

I commend me to you, and I pray you, my lord, 
deliver my servant Ross the herald, that brought 



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222 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

the articles from the duke and the lords of Scotland, 
for the sooner that he is sped it is the better for me, 
an they will do me reason, as they say they will. 
Wherefore I pray you, my lord, hold him no longer. 
Also you will remember that I spoke to you upon 
Sunday to borrow a part of money of the king my 
brother, while I may get my own, which I shall 
pay to you again ; and I told you the cause why, 
which is no honour to me, an I may remedy it. 
And, my lord, it is the first request that ever I 
made to you, and though I were a stranger, you 
could do no less to me, and I shall think me ever 
beholden to you, an you do so much for me at this 
time. I am loth to speak to the king my brother 
in it, because I trust you will do it for me. No 
more, but God keep you, and your answer with this 
bearer. 

Margaret R. 

To my Lord Cardinal. 



LETTER LXXXVI. 

Queen Margaret to Henry VIII. a.d. 1517. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. II. FOL. 277 b. Holograph."] 

*j,c* In compliance with the wishes of Margaret, Henry VIII. 
made some feeble attempts to remove Albany firom the regency, but 
his propositions were indignantly rejected. The duke had, however, 
many ties, domestic and social, in France, and having arranged 
matters at home, he in the summer of 1517 went over there, leaving 



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ILLUSTEIOUS LADIES. 223 

Hie archbiflhops of St. Andrew's aad Glasgow, with the earls of 
Huntley, Arran, and Angus, governors.^ Queen Margaret, having 
received a safe conduct firom her son,^ and satisfactory promises from 
the Scottish lords in reference to the settlement of her affairs,*^ was on 
her journey homewards, and had proceeded as fiir as York, when the 
news of the governor's departure reached her. From that place she 
penned the letter now laid before the reader, in which she enters into 
some curious details about her pecuniary drcumstanoes, and expresses 
yery freely her feelings in regard to Albany. 



Dearest brother, 

In my mo8t humble wise I can I recommend me 
to your grace. Pleaseth you to wit that upon Tues- 
day Canter came to me to York from the duke of 
Albany, with writings which I send to your grace, 
the very copy word by word, because I keep his 
letter myself; and he hath sent writings to your 
grace to shew you of his departing out of Scotland, 
and that the council of Scotland would not suffer 
him to pass through England, as your grace will per- 
ceive by his writings : howbeit methinks he has taken 
this purpose very hastily, for I know well he thought 
it not within this short while. But I may thank 
your grace and no other, or else it had not been ; be- 
seeching your grace as humbly as I can, now, since 
he doth depart, to look well upon it for my surety 
and that he may not come to trouble me after, as 

* Lesley, p. 385. 

»» Dated April 6th, 1517. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. fol. 107; 
and MisceUaneotts Letters, 1st series, vol. vi. fol. 15, State Paper 
Office. 

c Clarencieux to Wolsey. Wolsey Papers, vol. vi. fol. 33, date 
March 17th, 1517, State Paper Office. 



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224 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

my special trust is in your grace, for he proposeth to 
come again into Scotland. Sir, I am sure the duke 
hath written to your grace how he hath ordered 
every thing now at his departing, and what persons 
shall have the rule^ both the wardens of the bor- 
ders and within the realm, or else I would have 
written all at length : for he hath sent me word of 
everything, and how I shall be received into Scot- 
land, and how L shall be answered of my conjunct 
feofment, as is made between your grace and him, 
with the council of Scotland; howbeit I will be plain 
to your grace, an you will not be displeased, for I say 
it not for no displeasure to your council, for I think 
they know not that I know in this matter. Sir, 
your grace knoweth it is concluded between your 
council and Scotland that I shall have all that I have 
right to pertaining to me, with one clause in it, that 
is, I giving again it that I have pertaining to my 
son, not declaring plainly what it is; which may 
be hurt to me in time coming, for the king my hus- 
band, whose soul God pardon, ere he went to the 
field,*^ gave me a letter of his hand, commanding to 
deliver me 18,000 crowns of weight, that the French 
king did send; which was without the council of 
Scotland's consent. And also they may claim any 
other things that I have that the king my husband 
gave me, which were wrong. And I spent the most 
part of it ere I came to your grace, for I was not 

> The battle of Flodden. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 225 

answered of my living since the field, to hold my 
house with. And, therefore, I beseech your grace 
to command my lord Dacres to see a sure way for 
me and master Magnus, ere I go in. But now the 
duke goeth away, I set not much by the remnant 
that is behind : for I know them and their condi- 
tions ; with fear that they have of your grace they 
will be glad to please me. I desire this to be done 
in adventure that the duke come again, that I be not 
troubled with him. I would not shew this to none 
but to your grace, beseeching your grace to continue 
good and kind brother to me, as you have been ever, 
and that I may hear from your grace ; which will be 
to my great comfort, as God knoweth, whom pre- 
serve you. Written at York the 3d day of June. 
Your humble sister, 

Margaret. 

Sir, — Since I ended this letter, Canter, this 
bearer, said to me in the duke's name, that he prayed 
me to write to your grace that the peace might be 
continued longer than Saint Andrew's Day. Sir, I 
trust you do remember that I spake to your grace 
when I went to Windsor this last time, that it 
should not be long continued without my desire, for 
causes, — but do to me as your grace thinks best for 
me, so that I may know it before him when it is 
continued, so that I may have the thanks of Scot- 
land. 

To the right high and mighty prince, and my 
dearest brother, the Kmg's grace of England. 

l2 



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226 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER LXXXVIL 

Queen Margaret to Cardinal Wolsey. a.d. 1517. 

[cotton. MS, CAjiiGULA, B. I. FOL. 253. Holograph*"] 

%* Although the Scottish ooimcU had become so arrogant, on 
account of the court they received from France, that they refused to 
send a proper escort to attend upon their queen,* yet she was met 
on the borders by her husband and other lords, with three thousand 
soldiers,^ and re-entered Edinburgh, after a sojourn of nearly two 
years in England, on the 17th of June.<^ During the intenral her 
younger son Alexander had died, and it was with much difficulty that 
she obtained access to the young king. This deprivation she keenly 
felt, and it forms her principal ground of complaint in the present 
letter. 



My lord cardinal, 

In my most hearty wise I recommend me to you, 
and would be glad to hear from you. Pleaseth you 
to wit that I am come to Edinburgh, and hath been 
very well received, saving the sight of my son the 
king, which I think right strange, as this [bearer] 
will shew you my mind at more length, to whom I 
pray you to give credence. My good lord, next the 
king my brother, my most special trust is in you, 
and you may do me most good ; and if so be that 
this realm keep not to my brother and you their 
promises, I must needs call for help to his grace 
and you, for I trust to rule me so that the king and 

*■ Letter from Dacre and Magnus to Wolsey, date 18th March, 
1517. Cotton. MS. CaUgula, B. I. fol. 9. 

»» Magnus to Wolsey, June 16th, 1517. Ibid. B. II. fol. 253. 
^ Lesley, de rebus gestis, p. 385. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 227 

you shall be content, for I will do nothing bjit I will 
ask counsel at my lord Dacres. And I pray you, 
my lord, command him that he send often to see 
how I do and am entreated ; but an ever the duke 
come in Scotland again, here is no biding to me, 
and that this bearer can shew you. No more, but 
God have you in his keeping. 

Written the 20th day of June, with my hand, 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 

To my Lord Cardinal. 



LETTER LXXXVIIL 
Queen Margaret to Henry VIIL a.d. 1618. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 232 b. Holograph."] 

\* Iiesley, the Scottish historian, tells us that, in the beginning 
of August 1518, a report arose at Edinburgh, which soon reached the 
ears of the queen, that her husband, the earl of Angus, had fallen in 
loye with a beautiful and noble young lady in a distant province, 
whom he constantly carried about with him in secret.' Violent and 
impetuous in her temperament, and once ardently attached to a 
husband for whose sake she had suffered much, the injured affections 
of the queen gave rise to a hatred scarcely less vehement, and the 
domestic feud between her and Angus long kept alive the flame of 
discord in Scotland. Another source of discord between them was 
the disposal of the queen's extensive dower-lands, over which she 
claimed unlimited controL Angus, on the other hand, assumed that 
his authority as a husband gave him the right of interfering, and even 
of securing part of her revenues to himself and his partisans ; while, at 

<^ De rebus gestis Scotorum, p. 391. 



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228 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

the same tiine, the lords utterly failed in fulfilling their promise to 
secure her the regular reception of her rents.^ The present is the first 
letter of Margaret in which she alludes to these grounds of complaint. 



Dearest brother the king. 

In my most humble wise I can I recommend me 
to your grace, desiring greatly to hear of your good 
health and prosperity, which would be to my great 
comfort. And if it please your grace to wit how 
the king my son, your nephew, does, he is in good 
health, I thank God. As touching to myself, an it 
please your grace to wit how I am done to since my 
departing from you, it hath been very evil; how- 
beit, I was very loath to trouble your grace, and 
would not while I may no further that I see. I can 
get no reason, for I am not answered nor obeyed of 
my living, whereof I have not gotten two thousand 
pounds of Scotch money since my departing from 
your grace, which should be every year to me nine 
thousand pounds, and this is not to me to live in 
honour, like your sister, nor like myself; which I 
beseech your grace to look well upon, and give no 
more credence to the fair words of the lords of 
Scotland, for it is to none effect. And, as for me, I 
have put off so long that I must give my jewels and 
such things as I got from your grace, for fault that 
I have nothing to spends which will be great dis- 
honour to me, and no honour to your grace, for I 

* Dacres to Wolsey, 8th August, 1517. Wolsey Corresp. vol. iv. 
art. 30. Same to same, date 30th October, ibid. art. 11. Same to 
same, March 5th, 1518, ibid. art. 14. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 229 

have no other to help me bat you. And now it 
stands to me upon this point, I beseech your grace 
to help me, and to give me license to come into 
your realm ; or else I will be put to the point to 
give my living at the pleasure of the duke and the 
lords, and thay to give me what they please, which 
would be of little valour (value) to me. And please 
your grace to remember, the last writing I got from 
you, you bade me that I should not give over my 
conjunct feoffment for a sum of money, which I 
have kept. And your grace knows that you may 
of reason cause the ships of Scotland to be taken, 
and the goods in them, when they fail to me that I 
be not answered ; which I have suffered too long, 
considering that your grace hath forborne so long to 
do any evil, and I am nought the better. 

Dearest brother the king, I trust your grace will 
not let me be overrun ; and I wit well I will never 
get good of Scotland of fairness, nor I will never 
with my will bide here with them that I know well 
loves me not, which proves daily ; and therefore do 
to me as ever your grace will, for all my weal is in 
your hands. Also please you to wit that I am sore 
troubled with my lord of Angus since my last 
coming into Scotland, and every day more and 
more, so that we have not been together this half- 
year. Please your grace to remember that, at my 
coming now into Scotland, my lord Dacres and 
master Magnus made a writing betwixt me and my 
lord of Angus, for the surety of me, that he might 
not have no power to put away nothing of my 



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230 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

conjunct feoffment without my will, which he hath 
not kept ; and the bishop of Dunkeld, his father s 
brother, and others his kinsmen, caused my lord 
of Angus to deal right sharply with me^ to cause me 
to break the bond that he made to me, which I 
would not do ; and upon that he went and took up 
it that I live upon, and would not let none answer 
to me, and took my house of the new work,* within 
the forest of Ettrick, which should be in the year to 
me four thousand marks^ and I get never a penny ; 
with much more evil that I shall cause a servant of 
mine to shew your grace, which is too long to write. 
And I am so minded that, an I may by law of God 
and to my honour, to part with him, for I wit well 
he loves me not, as he sheweth to me daily. 
Wherefore I beseech your grace, when it comes 
to that pointy as I trust it shall, to be a kind prince 
and brother to me; for I shall never marry but 
where you will bid me, nor never to part from your 
grace, for I will never with my will abide into 
Scotland : and to send me your pleasure, and what 
your grace will do to me, for all my hope and trust 
is in your grace. I durst not send by land to your 
grace, for such causes as I shall cause you to under- 
stand, and I beseech your grace to write me your 
mind with this bearer, and God preserve you. At 
Edinburgh. 

Your humble sister, 

Margaret. 

To my dearest brother the King's grace. 

*■ Hie nue warke in original. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 2S1 



LETTER LXXXIX. 

Margaret Queen of Scotland to Queen Catherine of 
Aragon, a.d. vers. 1619. 

[rotal letters, vol. b. III. 1, FOL. 41, ROLLS-HOUSE, OfiginalJ^ 

Right excellent, right high, and mighty princess^ 
our right dear and best-beloved sister, 

We recommend us unto you in our most hearty 
wise, and have received your letters the 6th day of 
this month, written at Windsor the 18th day of 
October, and by contents of the same we perceive 
you right sorry of the adversity lately happened to 
us, the causes thereof were unshewn or unknown at 
all times unto us. We also consider your loving 
and hearty mind towards us, and the great com- 
passion you have for our sake, as your well-beloved 
in God, friar Bonaventure, provincial of the Friars 
Observant, has shewn on your behalf, together with 
full wise and substantial consolations, whereof we 
give you our hearty thanks. And great comfort it 
is to us to know of our brother and your prosperous 
good health, in whom our special trust is above all 
next God. Praying you, dearest sister, to have us 
in remembrance toward our brother, that for our 
sake our dearest brother's kindness may be known 
to our lieges and realm, like as we have shown at 
good leisure to the said religious father; of whose 
message, comfort, and good mind shewn unto us this 



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232 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

time, we are right glad. As knows God, who, 
right excellent, right high, and mighty princess, 
most dear and best-beloved sister, the Trinity have 
in keeping. 

Given under our signet, at our town of Perth, 
the 11th day of November. 

Your loving sister, 

Maroareta R. 

To the right excellent, right high, and noble 
princess, our most dear and best-beloved sister, the 
Queen of England, &c. 



LKFTER XC. 

Queen Margaret to Lord Dacres. a.d. 1519. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 275. Holograph.} 

My lord Dacres, 

I commend me heartily to you, and I thank you 
for the sending of your servant, this bearer, whom to 
I have shewn my mind at length, praying you, my 
lord, to give him credence as to myself; for I stand 
in a sore case, an I get not the king's grace my 
brother's help, and my lord cardinal's. For such 
jewels as his grace gave me at my departing from 
him, I am so constrained that I must put it away 
for money ; and hath put away all my servants, 
because I have nought to give them, scantily to 
find my me[at]. And had not been Robin Barton 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 233 

comptroller, that hath laid out of his own purse 
five hundred pounds Scots,*^ I had been fain to have 
lived a poor gentlewoman, and not like the woman 
that I am. For I am not answered of no part of 
my living except Stirling and Linlithgow, and you 
know, my lord, what that is. And as for the 
forest of Ettrick and the earldom of March, I get 
nothing, nor of the lands of Methven. And, in 
good faith, since my last coming into Scotland, I 
have not gotten of all the lands I have four hundred 
pounds Scots, which you shall find of truth, and that 
the lords here cannot deny ; for they say their selves 
they know well that I am very evil done to, but 
they mend not; and therefore I beseech you, my 
lord Dacres, to inform the king's grace my brother 
how I am entreated, and to beseech his grace of 
help, for else I am undone and sch • • . And 
the cause that I came hither most for was for the 
king my son's sake, and I am holden from him like 
a stranger, and not like his mother, which doth me 
great displeasure in my heart, considering I have 
no other comfort here but him. Therefore, since 
they will not let me be with my son, nor is not 
answered of my living, neither to the king my 
brother's honour nor mine, I beseech his grace to let 
me come and be in his realm; and I shall be 
content heartily to give over to him my living and 
all the rents I have, and his grace to give me what 

* This statement is confirmed by a letter from lord Dacres to 
Wolsey, date July 26th, 1521. Cotton. MS. Caligula, B. L foL 155. 



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234 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

he will, and never to depart from him. And his 
grace knows well that he may get reason of Scot- 
land, and so may not I. Suppose he write specially 
for me to the lords of Scotland, they give his grace 
fair words, but they do to me never the better, and 
that I have essayed long, and there is neither kind- 
ness nor truth with them, wherefore I had liever 
(rather) be dead than I should live my life amongst 
them. And I wit well they have no cause to do 
evil to me, for I have guided me well toward them, 
as I report me to them. Also, my lord, now the 
peace is now to be taken betwixt these two realms, 
and I trust the king's grace my brother and my lord 
cardinal will not [app]rove the peace while there be 
some good way seen for me, that I may live at my 
heart's ease, and not thus in pain as I do ; for his 
grace promised me at my departing that Scotland 
should never have peace with England without I 
were well, which is not, for I was never so evil. 
Wherefore I beseech his grace to remedy it hastily, 
— for all my comfort and hope is in him, — and that 
I may know his pleasure how I shall do ; and that 
you will, my lord, farther it the best you can, as my 
trust is in you. And wit you, my lord, that this 
realm stood never as it doth now, nor never like to 
be so evil rule in it, for every lord prideth who may 
be greatest party and most friends, and they think 
to get the king my son in their hands, and then they 
will rule all as they will ; for there is many against 
the chancellor, and think to put him down of 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 235 

authority^ and I am most beholden to him of any 
here, and so am I not to none of remnant. And 
thus I see no good for the king my son nor me ; 
but, if the king's grace my brother make help, that 
is, either to cause me to have the king my son, as I 
had afore, in my keeping, or else to give me license 
to come to his realm, and live my life there, which 
I had liever do nor any thing in the world, which I 
beseech you to shew his grace. And I beseech my 
lord cardinal to stand good lord and friend to me, as 
he promised me in his house at my departing, which 
Ipray him to remember upon, and to help me, for I 
am at a sore point ; and I pray you, my lord, to 
give credence to this bearer, for he will shew you 
my mind at length, for I durst scantily tarry upon 
the writing of this letter, I am so mistrusted, because 
I am so evil int]*eatcd ; as God knows, whom keep 
you. My lord, I have two cups of gold that the 
king's grace my brother gave me at my departing, 
and for fault of money I must put them away 
incontinent, and I had liever you had them nor 
another, for I have part of chains that I must 
put away too ; and thus I pray you send itie your 
mind how* I shall do, for I think shame to let any 
body wit it. 

Written at Stirling the 17th day of October. 
Your friend, 

Margaret R. 

To my Lord Dacres. 

* Vhoy in original. 



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236 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER XCI. 
Queen Margaret to Lord Dacres. a.d. 1520. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 274. Holograph,'] 

*iil^ Anxioas for a deliyerance from the poverty and misfortune 
that beset her on every side, and failing to receive the desired aid from 
England, Margaret at length consented, at the urgent request of some 
of the Scottish lords, to join in a solicitation for the return of the duke 
of Albany to take the reins of the disordered government. This step 
excited vehement indignation in Henry VIII., since the return of 
Albany would secure the predominance of French influence in the 
Scottish council. Not deigning to write himself to his sister he con- 
veyed his reproofs through lord Dacres.* A spirited reply of the 
queen to these remonstrances, dated July 14th, 1520,1* is printed by 
Sir H. Ellis ; but that failing to remove his displeasure, was succeeded 
by the present epistle. A report was current in Scotland that the duke 
intended to divorce his own wife to marry Margaret, who was also to 
be divorced from Angus, and, in time, to obtain for himself the crown 
of Scotland. Wolsey especially requested the rumour to be fiEurther 
circulated, that it might injure Albany in the estimation of the Scots. 
To this projected union it was said that the queen was agreeable.^ 



My lord Dacres, 

I commend me heartily to you, and would be 
glad to hear from you ; and suppose you be unkind 
to me and will not let me hear from you, I will not 
do so; for I will not desire your counsel in any 
thing that I have ado, and do after it. Howbeit it 

« Dacres to Margaret, July 10th, 1520. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. II. 
fol. 194. 

*> Ellis* Letters, 2d series, vol. i. p. 276. 

c Wolsey to lord Dacres, date Nov. 27th, 1521. Cotton. MS. 
CaUg. B. III. fol. 52. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 237 

is shewn to me that you should say that I have lost 
the favour of the king's grace, my brother, and my 
friends of England, which I trust be not ; for I have 
made no such cause, for I have made no fault in no 
way to the king's grace, my brother, nor his realm. 
I could not deny to write for the duke of Albany 
to the French king, without I had displeased him, 
which might have done me displeasure, and caused 
me to have been worse treated. And I thought my 
writing could do him either little good or nought, and 
I trusted not that the king's grace, my brother, would 
not be displeased at so little a thing, considering the 
case that I stand in, which was never worse than 
since my last coming into Scotland. For I am fain 
to put away such jewels as I have, for I get never 
penny of my living ; and the comptroller that hath 
lent me this year will not lend me no more, for I 
am owing to him of his own six hundred pounds ; and 
thus I wit not what to do without I be helped. 
And I trust, my lord Dacres, the king's grace, ray 
brother, will not let me be undone and shamed ; 
and therefore I pray you heartily, my lord, as my 
special trust stands in you, to let me wot as far as 
you may, how the king my brother's mind stands 
to me, and your counsel. Also wit you that the 
lords here desire me to put the king, my son, in 
my house of Stirling, which I will not do without 
the king's grace my brother's pleasure ; for he 
caused me to get them again. And send me your 
counsel what I shall do, and cause a servant of 



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238 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

yours to come to me to Stirling ; for there is a great 
matter that I dare not write it, for it may do me 
hurt. And make him some errand to my lord of 
Arran, and say that you command him to see me 
ere he come to you. No more at this time, but God 
have you in his keeping, and haste this bearer to 
me, and your own servant right soon after. 
Written with my hand, 

Your friend, 

Margaret R. 

To the Lord Dacres. 



LETTER XCII. 

Catherine of Aragon^ Queen of Henry VIII.^ to 

Claude of France^ Queen of Francis /. 

A.D. vers. 1521. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, E. I. FOL. 1. French^ a draught much 
burnt. 1 

*i^ The date of the following letter is about 1521, as appears by 
the allusion to the intended marriage between the princess Mary and 
the dauphin of France. During her visit in France at the celebrated 
field of cloth of gold, queen Catherine had contracted an intimacy with 
the amiable but unfortunate French queen. This friendship seems to 
have reconciled Catherine to the close union then intended between 
their husbands, a union naturally prejudicial to the interests of the 
emperor, her nephew ; or at least, like a good wife, she had learned 
to acquiesce in the wishes of her lord, even in a point which con- 
cerned her so nearly as the marriage of her only child. So little did 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 239 

Catherine of Aragon intenneddle with politics, that the present is the 
only state letter of hers, addressed to a foreign potentate, known to be 
in existence.* 



[My good sister and cous]!!!, 

I have by your esquire of the stable [received 
your good and] affectionate letters, and I assure 
you that [I have been much] and very greatly con- 
soled at having heard [the good] news, health, 
estate, and prosperity in [which is my] very dear 
and most beloved good son, and yours the dauphin. 
A[nd believe] what by your said esquire you will 
similarly hear, not only of the good health, estate, 
prosperity, and news of the king my husband, of 
me and of my daughter the princess, [but also] 
the affection, good will, and very great desire that 
the king my said lord and husband and I have to 
the good and [continuance] of the good love, friend- 
ship, and fraternal intelligence and alliance which 
now is between the two kings our husbands, and 
their kingdoms, which I hold inseparable, and ever 

* Amongst the Miscellaneous Exchequer documents is a letter from 
Elizabeth, queen of Denmark, to her ** dearest aunt,'' queen Catherine, 
dated March 4th, 1518, from which it seems she corresponded with 
that princess. 2d gerieSf No. 2690, Chapter-house. A considerable 
number of the Miscellaneous Exchequer documents, being a continua* 
tion of those deposited in the Rolls- house, still remain in the Chapter- 
house, where they were inspected July 26th, 1845. They only await 
the processes of cleaning, flattei^ng, and repairing, after which they 
will be transferred to the Rolls-house. They are of .the most hetero- 
geneous character, consisting in fact of all the documents not belonging 
to any particular class, which are discovered in the clearing processes 
now in active operation at the Chapter -house. 



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240 LETTEKS OF ROYAL AND 

pray God that it may continue, which I desire above 
all things, and for my part shall exert myself for it* 
as I have always done and shall do. However, I 
will cease writing you a longer letter, except praying 
you that from time to time** I may be participant of 
your good news, and of those of my said son the 
dauphin. Also, if there be any thing in which I 
could do you pleasure, I will do it with very good 
heart, as she who considers herself and wishes ever 
to continue. 

Your good sister and cousin, 

Catherine. 

To my good sister and cousin the queen 
Claude of France. 



LETTER XCIIL 



Mary Queen-Dowager of France to Cardinal 
Wolsey. 

[royal letters, vol. B. III. 4, FOL. 58, ROLLS-HOUSE. OW^ifUl/.] 

*4j* Having presented to our readers a considerable portion of 
the correspondence of Mary Tudor, during the most eventfiil period 
of her life, it may not be unacceptable to add a few of her letters 
written when, in the retirement of domestic life, she enjoyed with 
the husband of her choice the happiness she had braved so much to 
purchase. Although Mary was a frequent guest at her brother's 
court, of which she was the pride and the ornament, she and the duke 

• " Et de ma part y tiendray la main." 
*> ** Quejepuisse [de temps] aaultre." 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 241 

Hyed mnch in the country, partly from choice and partly to enable 
Suffolk, by a consistent economy, to pay off the large debts he had 
contracted to the royal exchequer. The present letter refers to the pay- 
ment of Mary's French dowry, with which she could ill dispense, 
as she and Brandon had made peace with Henry YIII. by promis- 
ing him immense sums of money from her foreign revenues.* The 
otiier two relate to the promotion of two of her servants. 



My lord. 

In my most hearty wise I commend me unto you. 
So it is, divers of my rights and duties concerning 
my dote in France have been of late time stayed 
and restrained, in such wise as I nor mine officers 
there may not have nor receive the same, as they 
have done in times past ; being to my damages 
therein, and to their great trouble many ways, as 
my trusty servant George Hampton, this bearer, 
shall show unto you, to whom I pray you to give 
credence in the same. And, my lord, in these and 
in all others, I evermore have and do put mine 
only trust and confidence in you, for the redress of 
the same ; entirely desiring you, therefore, that I 
may have the king's grace's my dearest brother's 
letters, and yours, into France, to such as my said 
servant shall desire. And by the same I trust my 
said causes shall be brought to such good conclusion 
and order now, that I shall from henceforth enjoy 
my rights there, in as ample wise as I have done 
heretofore. 

4 Several agreements between them and Henry YIII. on this'sub^ 
ject are among the Miscellaneous Exchequer documents^ 2d series, 
Nos. 200, 717, 788. 

VOL. I. M 



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242 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

And, 80 it may stand with yonr pleasure, I 
would gladly my said dearest brother's ambas- 
sadors, being in France, now by your good means 
should have the delivery of all these said letters, 
with their furtherance of the contents of the same, to 
that they may do.* 

And thus, my lord, I am evermore bold to put 
you to pains without any recompense, unless my 
good mind and hearty prayer, whereof you shall be 
assured during my life to the best of my power; as 
knoweth our Lord, who have you on his blessed 
tuition. 

At Wingfield castle, the third day of August* 
Yours assured, 

Mary the French Qubbn. 

To mine especial good lord my Lord 
Cardinal. 



LETTER XCIV* 

Mary Queen-Dowager of France to Cardinal 
Wolsey. 

[royal lbtters, vol. b. III. 4, FOL. 55, BOLLS-HotrsB. Origindl,'] 

Right reverend father in God, 

In my heartiest wise I commend me to you. 
And whereas it was so that at your last being with 

a To the extent of their power. 



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r ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 243 

my lord and me at Letheringham hall, I did instance 
you to be good and gracious lord unto my trusty 
and well-beloved servant Susan Savage, as for con- 
cerning the trouble of her brother Antony Savage, 
in the which premises your grace the same time did 
promise to shew your .gracious favours in all the 
causes reasonable of the said Antony ; and in trust 
whereof I have caused the said Susan Savage to 
inquire and bring forth before your grace her said 
brother upon your foresaid promise. And for be- 
cause that I have caused him to be brought be- 
fore you at this time, therefore I do pray you in my 
most heartiest manner, that according unto your pro- 
mise to me made you will be good and gracious lord 
unto the foresaid Antony in all his foresaid causes. 
And in so doing your grace shall not only do a meri- 
torious deed to be rewarded of God, but also bind 
me at all times to be as ready to do your grace or 
any of yours as far pleasures ; as knoweth our 
Lord; who keep your grace. 

From Butley abbey,* the 27th day of September. 
By your loving friend, 

Mary the French Queen. 

To the right reverend fttther in God 
my Lord Cardinal. 



* Several curious particulars of Mary's visits to Butley abbey, her 
hunting excursions, her pic-nic parties in the woods and gardens, her 
offerings at the shrine, are given in a curious chronicle by a monk o{ 
Butley abbey, of which there is a copy in the Tanner MS. 90, Bod* 
leian library, Oxford. 



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944f LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 



LETTER XCV, 

Mary Queen-DGwager of France to Cardinal 
Wolsey, 

[&OTAL LKTTK&S, VOL. B. III. 4, FOL. 52, ROLL8-HOU8S. 

OriffinalJ] 

My very good lord, 

Ab heartily as I can I commend me unto your 
good lordehip, always thanking the same for the 
manifold kindness shewed to me and my husband, 
desiring you of your good continuance. And where- 
as I am informed by my trusty councillors, sir 
Humphry Bannister, knight, my chamberlain, and 
Humphrey Wingfield, esquire, that it pleased you 
for my sake to grant unto them, for the promotion 
of a chaplain of mine, the benefice of Grafton Fly*^ 
ford in the county of Worcester, being of the yearly 
value (as I understand) of twelve marks, and that as 
now master Belknap hath caused an office (inquisi- 
tion) to be found of the same, by reason whereof, 
and (as I suppose) he hath asked, or else intendeth 
to ask, the said benefice of the king my brother for 
a chaplain of his. Wherefore I beseech your lord- 
ship to have in your good remembrance your said 
grant for my said chaplain, and to' provide that 
my said chaplain be not, by the means of the said 
master Belknap, disappointed or put from the said 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 245 

benefice. And thus our Lord have you, my very 

good lord, in his blessed tuition. 

From the manor of Rising, the 17th day of 

March. 

Mart Queen of France. 

To my Lord Cardinal's good lordship* 



LETTER XCVI. 
Queen Margaret to Lard Dacres. a.d. 1522. 

[cotton. MS. CALiovLAy B. yi. FOL. 232. Holograph,"] 

%* On the 3d of December, 1521, the duke of Albany returned 
to Edinburgh, where he was received by the queen in person. One 
of his first steps was to remove Angus from his office of governor, and 
to cite him to appear and answer for his crimes. In much alarm, 
Angus appealed to the still lingering affection of the queen, and by 
her mediation a year's banishment into France was the sole punish- 
ment allotted to him.* The duke fiirther endeavoured to secure 
Margaret's good will by courteous attention to her pressing neces- 
sities. On the 9th December,^ and again on the 6th of January, 1522, 
she wrote to her brother, recounting the favours she had received from 
the governor, and assuring him of his good will towards the pre- 
servation of peace witili England,^^ but her communication was ill 
received by the king and his council ;<* for Angus and his party had 
sent the bishop of Dunkeld to London as their agent, representing in 
suspicious colours the intimacy between the queen and Albany.^ Lord 
Dacres was commissioned to forward to her a series of artides,' to 

» Lesley, p. 397. 

^ Cotton. MS. Caligula, B. I. foL 187. « Ibid. B. VI. foL 208. 

' Letter from Wolsey to Dacres, date F^b. 11, 1522. Ibid. B. III. 
fol. 110 b. 

* Instructions from Angus to Dunkeld, date December 14, 1521. 
Ibid. B.VLfoL 177. 

t Dated March 6, 1522, Ibid. B. YI. foL 128. 



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246 LETTERS OF ROYAL AlfD 

which the preBent letter is a reply. The tecond article is on her 
inconsistency in uniting with Albany after having so strongly opposed 
his retom, and contains many insinuations against the character of 
the duke : his causing himself to be acknowledged prince of Scot- 
land on the sudden death of Margaret's younger son, Alexander, and 
the deceitful character of his present attentions to the queen, which 
were eren suspected to be dishonourable in their character, are espe- 
cially pointed out. The third article reproves her for her separation 
from Angus, and for having removed from Edinburgh at dead of 
night, attended only by the deadly enemy of her husband, sir James 
Hamilton.* To these and the other points named in the articles, 
Margaret's letter contains a full and detailed reply. 



My lord Dacres, 

I commend me heartily to you, and wit you that 
I have received your writing and seen the articles, 
and understand them at length, which are right 
sharp, and specially at the ending of them, wherein, 
in part, I have shewn my mind at length to this 
bearer, because it were over long to write, but in 
part I will make you answer in this my writing. 

My lord, as (you write) to me to send to the 
king's grace my brother for my matters, before the 
taking of the peace betwixt the king's grace my 

* A frill account of this adventure of the queen is given by lord 
Dacresin a letter to Wolsey, date Dec. 27, 1521, in the Cotton. MS. 
Caligula, B. I. foL 3. The character of this Hamilton was oddly 
given by James Y. some years afterwards, at a time when Angus was 
in disgrace at court. '* If,'' said the king, ** I should but once look 
merely on the earl of Angus, sir James would drop ; for, by the 
wounds of God, for all sir James's bragging, the earl of Angus and 
he never met but sir James turned ever the back seams of his hose !" — 
Letter of John Penven to the nuuter qf Angue, date Oct. 22, 1526* 
Cotton, MS. Caligula, B. ULfol. 293. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* €47 

brother and tbis realm, and that my matters may be 
seen for, and that I may be answered and obeyed of 
my living, in that point I shall send a servant of 
mine, declaring the verity how I have been en- 
treated since my last coming into Scotland, which I 
have written of before at length to the king's grace 
my brother, and to yon. Howbeit I got no remedy, 
and the last peace that was taken was done without 
me, or any way made for me, but a general fair 
word, which did me little profit ; for this realm will 
set little by me if they may get the peace without 
me or my request, which is more with the king's 
grace's honour to do it for my sake and at my 
request, considering I am mother to the king of this 
realm. 

Also, my lord, I came at the desire of the king's 
grace my brother, sent to me by friar Henry Jed- 
ward, which said many good words to me on the 
king my brother's commandment, and that there 
should not (be) no peace taken but at my request. 
And more ; I came to my lord of Angus against all 
the lords of Scotland's will, he trusting to have had 
help of the king's grace my brother to have borne 
forth my good quarrel, for it were overmuch to me 
to strive against all the realm, considering how it 
stands betwixt my lord of Angus and the lords, and 
they not agreed. 

My lord, as to my lord of Angus, if he had 
desired my company or my love he would have 
shewn him more kindly than he hath done; for 



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248 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

now of late, when I came to Edinburgh to him, he 
took my bouse without my consent, and withholds 
my living from me, which he should not do of 
reason, nor that is not the way to desire my good 
will; and I to have taken both great displeasure 
of Scotland and trouble, and had no help of the^ 
king's grace my brother, nor no love of my lord 
of Angus, and he to take my living at his pleasure 
and dispose it : methinks, my lord, you should not 
think this reasonable, if you be my friend, as I 
trust you be. 

My lord, you remember, at my coming to Edin- 
burgh, I did write at length to you how the lords of 
Scotland did to my lord of Angus, and that, without 
I had gotten help of the king's grace my brother I 
might not bear out our part ; for, on the one side, 
the westland lords and my lord of Angus was forth^ 
and the t'other lords was right sharp upon him, and 
I desired to know what help I might trust to, and 
you wrote to me again but lightly that the king my 
brother would do for me, in general words ; but it 
must be the deed that will help me. 

My lord, as to the t'other point, that I bear so 
good mind to the duke of Albany as you say, and 
that he gives me but fair words, to put the blame 
off him that I am not answered of my living ; my 
lord, as to that point, I believe not his fair words, 
but as he hath done to me in deed; were (it) not 
(for) the kindness that he hath shewn to me, both 
of bis own monies given to me^ and caused the 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADI£S. S49 

lords to furnish me of the readiest of the king iny 
son's, I would have been constrained to have put 
away my jewels and cupboard ; and this I did write 
to you before. My lord, I trust the king's grace my 
brother will consider me, as I that am his sister, 
that I must bear good mind where I find good deed, 
for as I find I must shew ; and I trust his grace 
will love him the better that he doth for me. And I 
cannot perceive but that the duke of Albany may 
do the king's grace my brother as much stead in 
this realm, and more than any other, which I know 
well his grace may have any way that he pleases of 
him. 

Also, my lord, where that you speak of the keep-^ 
ing of the king my son, and that the lords that are 
about him is of the duke's putting; my lord, it is 
known contrary that the lords put them about the 
king my son, and I wit well they love the king my 
son as well as any in this realm, and they were put 
to him ere I came last in Scotland, as you know. 
As for other points pertaining to the duke, let him 
answer for himself; but as for the earldom of March, 
he makes me no trouble as yet. 

My lord Dacres, you should not give so lightly 
credence to evil tales of me as you do while you 
know the truth ; suppose you bear great favour to 
my lord of Angus, as I see you do (howbeit I have 
seen it far otherwise), I must cast me to please 
this realm, since I have my living here, and few 
friends but through my good bearing ; wherefore 
m2 



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250 LISTTERS OF ROYAL AND 

they shall have no cause of reason to hold my living 
from me, and I think the king's grace should help 
me the better. 

Also where you say that I came out of Edin- 
burgh in the night, that was not ; for all the lords 
knew of my coming away, and I saw no good for 
me to bide upon there. And where you say I am 
ruled by the counsel that will never do me good 
nor honour, — my lord, I did never dishonour to my- 
self nor them that I am come of; nor methinks 
you should not give credence to that of me, both for 
the king's grace my brother's sake and the king my 
father's (whose soul God pardon), and I have made 
you better cause nor my lord of Angus hath done or 
any of his : but I know well the bishop of Dunkeld's 
counsel when he was with you now lately, which 
hath caused you to write so sharply.* And as 
touching sir James Hamilton, I might not let (hin* 
der) him to ride on the way, but he conveyed me 
not. It was other lords that brought me to Lin? 
lithgow, as is known. 

My lord, also you write right sharply to me in 
your last article, saying that I do dishonour to 
myself that bideth from my lord of Angus, and that 
I follow them that will be my destruction, and 
cannot stand with the pleasure of the king's grace my 
brother, and that I may not look for any favour at 
the king's grace my brother's hand ; for it is thought 

• GaTin Douglas, the uncle of Angus, who was banished from 
. Scotland and retired to England, where he found an asylum. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 251 

that I am sore abused under colour of fair promises, 
which should bring me to the displeasure of God 
and my dishonour and undoing at length. My 
lord, these is sore words and unkindly : if this be the 
king my brother's mind, — I being his sister, — that 
evil and false folk shall make such report of me, 
and so lightly credence to be given to the same, it is 
right heavy to me ; and I may think it strange that 
my lord of Angus may make the king my brother 
so displeased at me, without any fault making as 
shall be well known : wherefore it is no marvel 
suppose others be unkindly, considering that I took 
my lord of Angus against all Scotland's will, and 
did him the honour that I could, where-through I 
lost the keeping of my sons, my house of Stirling, 
my rule of the realm which I had by right, that 
might not have been taken from me, and all this for 
his sake ; and now himself hath shewn him as un- 
kindly to ine as is possible, which all the realm 
knows holds my living from me as far as he may : 
and above all things, he spake openly dishonour of 
me, which is no token of love, and I did neither 
displeasure nor dishonour to him, as is well known. 
My lord, this (is) not a good way that should cause 
me to come to my lord of Angus : since I took him 
at mine own pleasure, I will not be boasted* to take 
him now ; and thus I must do the best I may to get 
my friends, since his grace, that I trusted most in, 

• Bosiyd in original^ used in the sense of compelled by boast- 
ing words. 



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252 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

may be put by me vritbout fault, "which I shall never 
make to his grace, as I shall write at length to him 
with a servant of mine. 

My lord, I would have trusted that you would 
rather have helped me at the king's grace my bro- 
ther's hand than to have hindered me : you must 
hold me excused that 1 write so plainly, for you 
have written sharply to me. No more at this time, 
but God keep you. Written at Stirling, the 11th 
day of March. 

Your friend, 

Margaret R. 



LETTER XCVII. 



Queen Margaret to Cardinal Wolsey. a.d. 1522. 

[cotton, MS. CALIGULA, B. Ti. FOL. 270. OrtginalJ] 

\* During the whole Bummer of 1522, constant and often angry 
correspondence was kept up between queen Margaret and the English 
council. Her principal correspondent was lord Dacres, warden of 
the marshes, who treated her with less courtesy than the earl of 
Surrey had done, of which she bitterly complains. Divers hostile 
demonstrations had been made on the sides of England and Scotland, 
each party trying in vain to intimidate the other ; but Margaret acted 
tiie purt of a mediatrix, and even travelled to the scene of contest 
itself, and by her exertions procured a truce when the flames of war 
vrere just bursting forth in fury.* This conduct, partially at least, 

* Lesley, p. 405. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 253 

restored her to the good graces of her brother and his conncU, who 
expressed themselves highly gratified with her conduct.* 

On Monday, October 27thy 1522, Albany again went over to 
France to strengthen his interests there.^ About this time, an infec- 
tious disorder, seemingly the small-pox, broke out with fearful violence 
in Edinburgh, and, having attacked some members of the royal house- 
hold, it was deemed necessary to remove the young king to Dalkeith.<^ 
Margaret was seized with this dreadful malady, and suffered so severely 
that only two days before the date of the present letter lord Dacre9 
wrote to Wolsey to say that her life was almost despaired of.<> 



My lord, 

I commend me unto you in the most hearty 
manner I can. Please you I have received a writ- 
ing of yours from Clarencieux, dated at your house 
beside Westminster, the 12th day of November; 
which writing has done great consolation and com* 
fort unto me, whereby I know perfectly your good 
and hearty mind that you have towards me. And of 
that and the great labours that you have taken for 
mine afikirs and matters at this time, I thank you 
right heartily ; beseeching you affectionately to con- 
tinue in good mind towards me, and to be my good 
protector and defender, &c. 

My lord, this ambassador, Clarencieux, and one 
part of the lords of this realm, has convened in 
Stirling, this 17th day of December, and has pro- 

*• Instructions to Clarencieux, November 10, 1522. Cotton. MS. 
Caligula, B. VI. fol. 254. Letter from Wolsey to Margaret, No- 
vember 11, 1522. Ibid. fol. 438. 

*► Dacres to Wolsey, October 31, 1522. Cotton. MS. Caligula, 
B. II. fol. 327. 

c The same to the same, Oct. 19, 1522. Ibid. B. III. foL 16. 

* Cotton. MS. Caligula, B. I. fol. 157. 



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254 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

claimed the truce and peace to endure till Saint An- 
drew's day next to come, as Clarencieux will shew 
you at more length. And as to any provision made 
to me at this time, the lords has commanded the 
king my son's comptroller to intromit and uptake all 
my conjunct feoffments, and the profit of the same, 
to the king my son's utility and profit, excepting 
Stirling and Linlithgow, which I hold in my own 
hand, because they are the principal fortresses and 
castles of this country. And the said comptroller 
shall answer to me of so much sums of money as 
my rental bears and is contained in the same, till the 
said Saint Andrew's day. And that is all that is 
done to me at this time, because I was and yet is at 
mal-aise and troubled with sickness, I might not 
intreat these French ambassadors, nor yet commune 
with the lords and them^ for the expedition of my 
matters, and so I have gotten the worse expedition 
of them at this time. For there is few in this 
country that will do for me any good ; howbeit that 
I have done that was possible to me to have them 
my friends, for I have made their good cause, as 
God knows ; and since I see that it will not be for 
me in time coming, I will trust no more unto them, 
and fain would be amongst them that I might 
trust, &c. 

Item, where you bid me in to your writing to 
take good regard for certain knowledge to be had, 
as well what diligence shall be done in the advance- 
ment of mine affairs, and to ensearch and know 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. ^5 

what speed is like to ensue therein, and as I shall 
perceive to advertise the lord Dacres, &e. ; my lord, 
as to that they have made no redress, nor no good 
is like to ensue hereafter to me in this country ; and 
I wrote my mind plainly to you, and sent it to the 
lord Dacres for to have sent the same up to you, 
trusting that you would have informed the king's 
grace my brother, and through your good counsel 
his grace would have put me out of trouble. The 
lord Dacres would not send my said writing to you, 
but be sent it again to me, and refused all utterly to 
' send it : of the which I think strange, considering 
that the king's grace my brother gave command to 
the lord Dacres, when I was present, to send any 
writings up to his grace and to you, whensoever I 
should send any. It is not marvel that Scotchmen 
be unkind to me, when Englishmen are so un- 
thankful. 

My lord, as touching any matters betwixt me 
and my lord of Angus, I have shewn my mind plainly 
to Clarencieux, to whom you will give credence, 
beseeching you to take my part, and if there be any 
person that would solicit you in my contrary in that 
matter, that you would give them no credence ; for 
I assure you that I and he shall never foregather 
(live together) nor agree, for certain cause which 
you shall understand hereafter. I am plain to you, 
therefore I beseech you to help me out of sorrow, 
and help us better to part nor to foregather; and 
doing this you do me a singular pleasure. 



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256 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

My lord, an it please you, you shall recommend 
jne heartily to the king's grace my brother, and 
thank his grace of his diamond that his grace sent 
me ; and beseech his grace to be good brother unto 
me, as his grace was ever. And that his grace and 
you, my lord, must need have me excused that I 
wrote not to his grace and to you with my own hand 
at this time, for because my hands and all my body 
are so full of the small-pox, that I might neither 
write, nor sit, nor scantly speak; and hereafter, 
when I may, I shall write with my own hand at 
length : as knows God, who preserve you evermore 
in prosperity. At Stirling, the 26th day of De- 
cember. 

My lord, I have sent a token to the king's grace 
my brother with Clarencieux : it- is a ring which his 
grace sent me of before. 

Your friend, 

Margaret R. 



LETTER XCVIIL 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey. 

{rOTAL LBTTBB8, VOL. B, III. 7, FOL. 33, ROLLS-HOUSE. OriffifMl^ 

*jit* Margaret's anxiety for the safety of the prioress of Cold- 
stream, who, as residing on the borders, had considerable facilities for 
sending messengers, transmitting intelligence, &c., forms the subject 
of the two following letters. It seems she wrote also on behalf of her 
friend to lord Dacres, who promised at her request to spare the 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 257 

prioress if she £d nothing injoruras to England,* and again to the 
marquis of Dorset. The latter, in a letter to Henry VIII.,'' gives 
treasons for spaiing Coldstream, which, had they been known to the 
qneen, would have rekzed her interest in the matter ; for it seems that 
the prioress was acting the part of a double spy, and giving intd- 
ligence to the English court of Margaret's movementSy while she 
thought her entirely devoted to her own interests.^^ 



My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you, and wit you I am 
informed that you are coming to the horders foments 
(over-against) Scotland ; and there is a good friend 
and servant of mine which I am beholden to do for, 
which winnis^ (lives) in the border of Scotland, and 
nearest to your bounds of England, and is prioress of 
a poor abbey of sisters called Coldstream ; and it is 
appearing to be great trouble on both the sides, and 
she is nearest the strait, and that place has been 
troubled divers times of before. Wherefore I pray 
you right eflTectuously, that for my sake that she 
and the said place may be untroubled ; and to have 
no strait by English men : for they that are good 
servants and friends to me thinks they should have 
favours of you for my sake, as I trust you will ; and 

^ Letter of Dacres to Margaret, date April 1523. Cotton. MS. 
Calig. B. III. fol. 10. 

b Dated April 16, 1523. Cotton MS. CaUg. B. III. fol. 255. 

c An explanation of the regular and clever system of espionage car- 
ried on by this prioress occurs in a letter from sir William Eure and 
George Lawson. Chapter-house Scotch Correspondence; fol. 328, 
State Paper Office. 

^ Sometimes spelled wones. The identity with the verb wohnen, 
to dwell, wiU at once occur to the German scholar* 



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258 LETTERS OF- ROYAL AND 

I believe she has the king's grace my brother's pro- 
tection to show ; therefore you will show you more 
kindly to her. I have not been cumbersome to you 
in my desires, and this is reasonable, which I trust 
you will not refuse to do, so that she may find 
kindness with you for my request, and God keep 
you. 

Subscribed with my hand the 25th day of March 

instant, &c. 

Your friend, 

Margaret R. 

To my lord of Smrej. 



LETTER XCIX. 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1623. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 257 b. Holograph,'] 

My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you, and I have re- 
ceived your writing from James Rutherford, this 
bearer, and understandeth your writing, and hath 
done as you desired me in the same writing, as you 
will understand shortly. And I thank you, my 
lord, for the great favour and kindness that you did 
shew to my servant, master John Cantley, for my 
sake ; and the reward that you gave him, which 
you should not do to my servants, for they are^ no 
strangers to you : but I promise you, my lord, that 



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r ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 259 

he hath shewn plainly to all men the good intreatment 
that he had. Also, my lord, the abbot of Kelso hath 
prayed me to write to you to be his good lord, and 
that for my sake you will not let no evil to be done 
to that place, the which I will pray you to do, and 
that he may find him the better for my request, with 
your answer again in that behalf. Also, my lord, 
touching the prioress of Coldstream, I hear say that 
you are displeased with her, and that you will bum 
her place. My lord, I would trust that you will be 
better lord to her for my sake, considering that I 
am beholden to her more than to any other of her 
degree, and doth for me any thing that she can : 
wherefore I pray you heartily, my lord, for my 
sake, to do her no hurt, nor let none do her hurt. 

And I pray you, my lord, to haste the conduct 
with this liearer to Coldstream, for I assure you 
there is great matters ado at this time, and it is toa 
great to write all ; and therefore I pray you, my 
lord, .take a plain determination of all matters ere 
you deliver him, and God keep you. 

Written this Saint Catherine's even.* 

Yours, 

Maroarbt R. 

To my lord of Surrey. 

• November 25th. 



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260 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER C. 
Queen Catherine ofArcyon to Cardinal Wolsey. 

[historical MS. VOL. I. ART. 31. IN THE PRIVATE COLLECTION 

OF DAWSON TURNER, Esci. ^Holograph.'] 

My lord, 

It hath pleased the king to be so good lord unto 
me as to speak unto Arandel the heir for a marriage 
to be had between him and one of my maids ; and 
upon this I am agreed with him, having a sum of 
money that is offered unto him, he shall make her 
sure jointure during her life, the which she cannot 
be sure of without the license and good-will of his 
father, being on life : for the which case I beseech 
you, good my lord, to be good and gracious lord 
unto the said Arundel, for business which he hath 
now to do before you ; so that with right you will 
make a short end, to the intent that he may have a 
time to go to his father, and make me sure of this 
said jointure in this present term-time. And if this 
be painful unto you, I pray you, my lord, pardon 
me ; for the uncertainty of my life and the goodness 
of my woman causeth me to make all this haste, 
trusting that she shall have a good husband and a 
sure living. An God would call me the next day 
after, the surer it shall appear before him that I 
intend to help them that be good; and taketh labour 



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J 



ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES; 26l 

doing me service. And so I make an end, recom-^ 
mending me unto you. 

At Ampthill^ the 25th day of January. 

Cathbbinb the Qubbk. 

To my Lord Legate. 



LETTER CI. 

Elizabeth Countess ofKildareto Cardinal Wolsey. 
A.D. 1523. 

[cotton. MS. TITUS, B. XI. FOL. 412. Holograph.'] 

*^* The writer of the foUowing and several other letters in these 
volumes was the daughter of Thomas Grey, first marquis of Dorset. 
Her husband, Gerald Fitz-Gerald, ninth earl of Kildare, was famed 
for his manly beauty, and they were sincerely attached to each other. 
He was appointed lord-deputy of Ireland ; but his extensive wealth 
and power having created enemies for him, he was accused of mis- 
government, recalled, and the deputyship bestowed on Piers Butler, 
earl of Ormond, his brother-in-law. In January 1523 he returned 
to his own country, when the quarrel ensued between him and Ormond 
which forms the subject of the present letter. Ormond on his part 
accused Kildare of treason ; and the matter was at length, at the inter- 
cession of the marquis of Dorset, referred to commissioners, ' who 
found Kildare ** not guilty ;** and in August 1524 he was restored to 
his deputyship. * The earl did at last fall a victim to the malice of his 
enemies, and died in the Tower in 1534. 



In my most humble manner I recommend me 
unto your grace, beseeching your grace to be good 

• Collins' Peerage, vol. vi. p. 140 ; Dugdale's Baronage, vdl. i. 
p. 720. 



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262 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

and gracious lord unto my lord my husband in sucb 
pursuits as his servants pursueth for him unto yootr 
grace, that it may appear unto them that your grace 
is somewhat the better unto them at this my humble 
petition. For as yet my said lord and husband hath 
not had any great profit by me, yet I find him as 
good and kind unto me always as any man may be 
to his wife. Humbly thanking your grace for that 
it pleased your grace to remember me to my lady my 
mother, as touching my marriage-money, when she 
was before your grace. Asserting (certifying) your 
grace that I am in continual fear; and thogh*^ of the 
king's deputy's sore and unfavourable demeanour 
unto my said lord. It is commonly noised here, that 
if the said deputy might have my said lord at any 
advantage that he would utterly destroy him ; of the 
which I have known him twice in one morning 
warned ere he rose out of his bed. As I hear say, 
the cause why that he is so cruel disposed towards 
him is, for that my said lord refused to indent^ to 
have taken part with him against the heirs of the 
late earl of Ormond, which pretendeth title to the 
said earldom, in case the king's grace had willed my 
said lord to the contrary ; which clause in no wise 
he would be contented withal, but would have had 
my said lord bounds without any exception. For 
the which he doth not only oppress my said lord's 
friends and servants to the extremity, but also main- 

* So in MS. ^ Endent in orig. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 263 

taineth the king's Irish rebels against him con- 
tinually. And now of late, since May last past, the 
said deputy hath broken divers castles longing to my 
said lord and to his friends, which castles was among 
the kind's Irish rebels, and were a great defence for 
the king's English subjects ; not only these, but 
divers other injuries and wrongs, daily to my said 
lord, his friends and servants, too long to me to 
write of unto your grace. And my said lord suf- 
fereth patiently the same, fearing the king's dis- 
pleasure ; and if it were not therefore, little would 
he suffer such wrongs as the said deputy doth unto 
him, his friends and servants. My lord complains 
to the king's council here still thereof, and the de- 
puty will not be ruled by them, neither my said lord 
dare not stir himself, for fear of the king's dis- 
pleasure ; so that he hath no remedy, unless it be 
by the king and your grace. And it feareth me full 
sore that my said lord is like to take great harm in 
the meanwhile ; beseeching your grace, for the love 
of God, to help for the expedition of the redress 
hereof, which is needful both to my said lord and to 
most part of all the king's subjects in this land. As 
knoweth God, who have your noble grace in his 
blessed keeping. 

From my lord's manor of Maynooth,* the 26th 
day of May. Yours, 

' Elizabeth Kilbare. 

To my Lord Cardinal's grace. 

* Maynooth was one of the principal residences of the earls of 
Kildare. Amongst the Chapter-house historical documents, No. 174 



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264 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER CII. 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1623. 

[cotton. MS, CALIGULA, B. II. FOL. 35.] 

*^* Daring the absence of the duke of Albany the inconstant 
queen had agam veered round, and haying quarrelled with the go- 
yemor's party in Scotland was anxious, before the expected return of 
the duke, to remoye her son from the tutelage under which he had been 
placed by the goyemor, and to restore him to a nominal indepen- 
dence, but to be in reality under her guidance and that of her English 
Action ; or, foiling of this, she wished herself to retire to England 
before Albany's return. 



My lord, 

I commend me heartily unto you. And I hare 
received your writing this Saint Bartholomew's even, 
whereby I perceive your good and hearty mind to- 
ward me and the king my son, whereof I thank 
you right heartily, and I pray God that I may de- 
serve it. My lord, as to the first, you know how I 
have solicited you to labour, at the king*s grace my 
brother's hand, for to have regard to the king my 
son's welfare, which lies in his band, and especially 
now at this time; or else not. As to the second 
point, you know, my lord, the good writing that I 
got from the king's grace, my brother, through your 

of the 1st series, is an account of the wardrobe of Ma3aiooth, pro- 
bably taken after the attainder of the earl of Kildare, of tapestries, 
beds, coyerlets of imagery, hangings of arras, Turkey carpets, cushions, 
&c. The plate was yalued at 1000/. The earl had more than 1000 
horses in his stud, and his kine were estimated at 1000. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. Q65 

good labour; and thereafter how William Hader- 
ington was sent to me and to what parpose, whom to 
I did shew my plain mind to be shewn to you ; which 
was, that the king's grace my brother might never 
do better for the king my son's weal than he might 
have done now at this time, and much honour to him- 
self, which as yet his grace may do^ an it be his 
pleasure, and to win Scotland from France^ to be for 
him, -^ which methinks should be most tender to 
his grace, next his own children. To the third point, 
when that you wrote that you would that I made 
policy amongst the lords of Scotland that the king 
my son may come forth and be at his liberty ; as 
to that, my lord, there is no creature living that 
would it so fain as I : but that lies most in the 
king's grace my brother's hands, as you may well 
consider. One way is, you know how the lords are 
blinded with the duke of Albany, both for awe and 
for gifts of benefices ; and all is at his gifts, and 
that he gives to hold them at his opinion with part 
of money that the French king sendeth them at his 
request. And as to the king's grace my brother's 
part, he has neither essayed this realm with policy 
nor force, whereby his grace put it never to the proof; 
and that is the way that may best bring it to a good 
point, and without one of these ways it cannot be 
well. Therefore, my lord, if the king's grace my 
brother's mind be to the weal and surety of the 
king my son, his nephew, as I trust firmly.it be, he 
must shew it by one of these two ways, either by way 

VOL. L K 



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266 LETTEES OF ROTAL AND 

of farce, or by good entreating of the lords. F^h* 
you may well consider^ my lord, that the lords 
will be right loath and right afraid to leave the 
govemor^s ways, without that they may find some 
surety, to take their part and to defend them. 
This being done by the king's grace my brothers 
help and power, I know well the lords would take a: 
plain part against the goTernor» and be good Scotch- 
men to their king, which they dare not do now. 

And as to this point I have communed with 
them, and felt their minds* Wherefore I pray you,, 
my lord,, as my great trust is i^ you, that you will 
cause the king's grace to be baitily advertised in this 
matter, and that you may know his pleasure and mind . 
hereunto, for the time is right short— ^ but until Mon- 
day come eigbt days ; for that is the day set for the 
gathering of the lords in Edinburgh, and hjis con- 
tinued the parliament while that day ; and there< 
after to take purpose cdtber to take the king my 
son forth, and to put him at freedom, or else to hold 
him longer in fi>r the governor's pleasure. Thus, 
my lord, I advertise you of it that will be done ; . 
and what remedy may be done is in the king's^ 
grace my brother's hand, both for the weal and 
surety of the king my son, and the utter destruc- 
tion of him. 

Another way I assure yon, my lord, that of 
his age I believe not there be in the worid a wiser 
child, nor a better hearted, nor that dare better 
take upon him in so far as he may ; but he wants. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 267 

nothing bat help to bear him forth in his good 
quarrel. And I assure yon, upon mine honour, that 
he loves not the governor nor no Frenchman ; and 
(this) the king my brother will find, an his grace 
make him help. And as to his coming forth at 
freedom, he will not bide in no longer than Mon- 
day come eight days^ without he be holden by force 
by the lords ; and that he saith plainly, that no 
good Scotchman will hold him in one house against 
his will. Whereof the Frenchmen that are here are 
right displeased, and maketh all the ways that they 
can to stop it by way of money giving, and other 
fair promises. Wherefore I pray you, my lord, 
since that it stands upon this point, and that you 
say that the king's grace my brother and my lord 
cardinal (think) that I, being here, may do much 
good, and cause the king my son to be bold, and 
to take well upon him ; as to that, I dare take it 
upon me that he shall do it, but when that is done 
it availeth not, without that he have help to bear 
it forth, and that must be the king's grace my 
brother's part, and that is either to send an army 
and power, and to cause the lords of force to leave 
the governor's ways and to be true to their king, or 
else by fair treaty and part of good deeds to get 
them at his way, and to leave France, which may 
be done for little thing ; which methinks it (ought) 
not to be left undone for his grace's honour, and I 
trust shall be to his pleasure. 

My lord, you have desired me to write you 



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268 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

plainly my mind, and what I would that you did. 
Wherefore I do write this plainly, one way, that 
the king's grace my brother may understand that 
there shall be no fiiult unto me, but that I shewed 
you the truth of all things; I find you of so good 
mind toward me and the king my son. And there- 
fore, my lord, help now my son to be the king, my 
brother's own, and no other's, which is kindly to 
him. And I promise you that he trusts more in the 
king's grace my brother, than he doth in all the 
world. I can say no more, but I trusted, when 
William Haderington passed from me, that there 
should have been other things done, which methinks 
is gone aback. Wherefore, an it be so, I should 
never trust in no good words nor writing ; nor Iwill 
never bide none trust, without I see the deed. 
Wherefore, my lord, cause me to have some special 
writing to the lords from the king's grace ray bro- 
ther, whereby they may have some occasion to bide 
from the governor's purpose, or else my labouring 
will be in vain ; and then I shall labour right well 
when they may see what I have for me, and that 
the king's grace desireth the weal and surety of his 
nephew. And if. the lords fail, then he has a good 
quarrel upon them. 

My lord, as to myself, where that you write that 
the king's grace my brother has said good words of 
me in his writing, and that he is contented of my 
coming away, and that . I shall be honourably in- 
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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 269 

honour ; for the better I be, the more may I do him 
honour and stead, and be it not that the king 
my son come forth now, I desire not to bide into 
Scotland* Wherefore I pray you, my lord, to so- 
licit for me that I may come away, for I will get 
no good done to me, an it be not through the king 
my son; for the Frenchmen that are here and I 
are discorded (at discord). And therefore I know 
well my lord governor will do me the evil that he 
can, and that is because I would have the king my 
son forth. And a sober (small) thing that I had of 
the governor, he has caused to take it from me 
these three months, and he has discharged it. 
Wherefore I have nothing now to hold up my 
honest expenses, without I lay my cupboard in 
pledge, which is not to the king my brother's 
honour. And this is because I will not apply to 
their ways, contrary to the forthcoming of my son. 
Therefore I pray you, my lord, advertise me what I 
shall do, and what shall be done to the helping of 
the king my son ; and that I be advertised before 
the day, so that I may solicit the lords to my pur- 
pose. And, failing of this, you will never get 
such time ; for, come the governor, as they trust 
he will, you will not get it so easily done, neither 
for the weal of my son nor for the king's grace's 
honour. And as to the peace that William Hader- 
ington came to me upon, I would his grace 
offered it for my request that I sent before, and 
that I may be the doer of it; and better now 



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270 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

than hereafter^ , and the lords will let the king 
forth with the better will. And your hasty answer in 
all these things, and God have you in his keeping. 

Written at Edinborough, this Saint Bartholo* 
mew's day.* 

Headed, '* Copy of the Qneea of Soot's 
letter sent to the Earl of Surrey/' 



In reply to this letter Surrey wrote to tell the queen that William 
Haderin^n had not, as |ihe supposed, discussed with him the hett 
modes to bring over the Scottish lords, but that they should neither 
want men noj* money ; and that at an hour's warning he would him- 
self come to tiie borders to commune with them. He assures her that 
the king of England will gready rejoice at the *' towardness and bold-o 
ness" of the young king ; and in answer to her complaint that Henry 
refrains from using force against Scotland, assures her that more harm 
has been done this season in the war than for many years past.^ He 
also wrote her a letter which she might, if she thought fit, shew to the 
Scotch lords, containing a vehement tirade against the duke ; but the 
last article she was to keep secret. It was, that in case she was obliged 
to retire to England, she should undertake the office of mediatrix of 
the border strifes as a sort of blind ; and retire on this pretence witii 
her plate, jewels, and ^* stuff'' to her house of Boukle, whence he would 
fetch her away suddenly with an armed force.^ 



LETTER cm. 

Qtieen Margaret to King Henry VIII. a.d. 1623. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 236. Holograph,"] 

*,ic* The duke of Albany had pledged himself to return to Scot- 
land before the feast of the Assumption of the yirgin,^' and haying failed 

* August 24th. 

h Cotton. MS. Calig. B. II. fbl. 37. « Ibid, fol 39. 

^ Dacres to Wolsey. Oct. 31it, 1522. Ibid. fbl. 327. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S7l 

to redeem* that pledge, Margaret became faitenielf aiudoaB to mature 
'her plans and carry tliem into effect before he did return. To secure 
this object, she sent letter after letter of earnest entreaty to Eng- 
'land. The four following letters, written in rapid succession, are 
cturious, and in some reqpects admirable specimens of tpecaal pleading. 



Dearest brother the king, 

In my most humblest wise I can I recommend me 
to your grace. Pleaseth you to wit that I have re- 
ceived your writing, written the second day of Sep- 
tember, the which I think right good^ and thank 
your grace right humbly, and for my part shall cause 
your good mind to be known for the weal and surety 
of the king my son. 

Dearest brother, it will please you to under- 
stand in what case and point the king my son 
standeth, as I have written divers times to my lord 
of Surrey, whom methinks hath done his part and 
diligence to advertise your grace in such things as 
I have written to him, as I perceive well by my 
answers. And now, to shew your grace plainly, the 
time that you may best help the king my son is 
now, and to put him out of his enemies' hands, and 
that his person may be in surety. 

The first thing is to send to the lords, to see if 
they will leave the governor's ways, and do that 
they should do to their prince, and to put the realm 
to good rule, that your grace for your part will be 
contented to give them peace, that there may be 
good concord betwixt your said realm and this^ 
and to help them, and supply this realm against 



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272 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

any that will do it any trouble, with any other ways* 
that may be found ; and they that will not regard 
to the weal and surety of the king and his realm, 
that they shall have all the evil that you may do to 
them: and this I pray your grace to write to the 
lords, and desire their answers. Secondly, I have 
spoken with the lords, and understand their minds, 
which I find dare not do nothing for fear that they 
have of the governor, nor dare not displease him ; 
which is a heavy case to the king my son, and a 
great danger that his person and his realm is in. 
Wherefore, dearest brother, it is of force that you 
must cause the lords to leave the governor s ways, 
and by fair treaty or by very force ; and this must 
be done in all haste, or else (the) king my son will 
be destroyed : considering now that the duke is 
forth of this realm, and the lords are not bound to 
him since our Lady-day of the Assumption,^ that 
was his promise to come. Now seeing that they are 
unbound, now is the time to change'* them, and to 
cause them to leave the governor's ways ; and this 
I beseech your grace that it may be done in all dili- 
gence, for your honour and the weal and surety of 
the king my son. 

Also, dearest brother, it will please you to wit 
that I was in before the lords, when they were sit- 
ting in parliament, and prayed them, in the king 
my son's name, to do the thing that might be best 
for the weal of him and his realm, and to lay by all 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 



27^ 



other ways, and be no longer abused with fair words 
of France^ as they woald answer to God and their 
king; and also that he desires to be forth at his 
liberty^ and not to hold him as a prisoner. To 
this the lords said they should advise; and hath 
ordained the king to pass forth a mile about Stir- 
ling, with three lords to keep him, that he pass no 
farther bounds : that is, the earl of Cassilis, the 
bishop of Gralloway, and the lord Fleming, which I 
promise you loveth the governor better than he 
doth the king. Wherefore I think that his person 
is in danger^ and for that cause I have desired him 
to be removed. Thus, dearest brother, I beseech 
you to consider what danger he is in, and to put 
remedy hastily to the same. 

Touching the lords, I find the chancellor, my 
lord of Aberdeen, and the earl of Argyle, best 
minded, as they say in their words ; but I see no 
great deeds as yet : but as far as I can find, they 
desire to be secure of you and your help, and to have 
peace betwixt these two realms, whereby that they 
might have cause to leave the ways of France ; and 
without the surety of that, and to help them to bear 
it forth, they were right great fools, they say, to do 
it. Wherefore^ dearest brother, it standeth all in 
your hand now at this time ; and if you will not do 
it at this time, I promise you I will never write more 
in this matter, nor your grace will never get so good 
a time. 

And touching myself, I have gotten so great dis- 
n2 



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S74 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

pleasure of the governor for this that I do, that he 
will do me all the evil he may, and all Frenchmen. 
Wherefore I pray your grace give me your license 
to come in your said realm , with such as are my 
true servants, that getteth evil for my sake, and that 
they may be received with me, as my trust is your 
grace will do to me, your sister ; and that you will 
advertise me your mind in this, and all other things 
above written, what I shall trust to. Also I promise 
your grace, you doing at this time as I write to you 
touching the king my son, helping him forth of his 
enemies' hands, and put him in surety, you will 
have all the hearts of the common people in this 
realm ; for they would never see the governor. 
Since it is thus, overlook not your honour and the 
weal of your sister's son, which is nearest to you, 
next your own children, and will be most kindly to 
your grace ; and it is a righteous quarrel that you 
have. 

I pray you, dearest brother, to pardon me that 
I write so plainly, for now it standeth upon the 
point ; and were not that this bearer is my trusty 
and true servant, and ever hath been to the king 
my husband, — whom God pardon, — and to me, I 
durst not have written so plainly ; which is called 
Patrick Sinclair. Wherefore I beseech your grace 
humbly to be his good prince for my sake, and that 
you will give commandment to the earl of Surrey 
and the lord Dacres that he may be received and 
well treated in your said realm, if be hath need ; and 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. J^5 

this your grace will do for my request, and let me 
be advertised in all haste of your mind and pleasure, 
and I shall labour here at the lords' hands that your 
grace shall be content : as Qod knoweth, whom pre- 
serve you. 
Written 13th day of September, at Edinburgh. . 
Your humble sister, 

Margaret. 

To tbe right high and mighty prinoft my 
dearest brother, the King's grace. 



LETTER CIV. 



Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1523. 
[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. II. FOL. 274. HoUtgroph^l 

My lord, 

I have written my mind at length to you and to 
the king's grace my brother, which I pray you to 
haste me the answer in all. haste possible, and to 
desire the king's grace to send some servant of his 
with his mind to the lords, that he may understand 
plainly their mind. And I desire to wit the king 
my brother's mind, if that he will that I cause the 
king my son to come forth ; for I know well that, 
an he come not forth ere the governor come, he will 
not be let forth after, but held perforce, which will 
be utter destruction to him. And this I know will 
be true, therefore see remedy now in time. And 



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276 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

will his grace let you make help, if any will rise 
against him, he may come forth safely ; and others 
wise I can do nothing, for it will be dangerous ta 
him. Also I would that the king my brother would 
essay to break the chancellor from the governor^ 
and promise him to do him pleasure; and also to 
the earl of Argyle, and to the bishop of Aberdeen, 
for, be these at his way, I set not by all the other 
lords: for these are the greatest men and may do 
most, and as I can find, sober (small) thing will do 
it. Wherefore cause this to be done in all haste, and 
let me have answer again. I assure you that I can 
cause the king to come forth, and charge his lords 
to come to him under pain of treason ; but then I 
am not sure who* will take part with him, and that 
I think dangerous. Therefore I can do nothing 
while I get answer from you ; and think well an 
the governor come in the mean time that I will not 
have so great power of the king my son. Therefore 
do as you think, and let the king's grace my bro- 
ther see this my letter ; for I did forget to write in 
this behalf to his grace. Wherefore I pray you, my 
lord, make my excuse to his grace, and pray his 
grace to remember that I do that is in me to adver- 
tise him of all things, that there be no fault found 
in me hereafter; as God knoweth, whom keep 
you. Written the 13th day of September. 

Yours, 



To m J lord of Surrey. 

» Vay in original. 



Margaret R. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 277 

LETTER CV. 
Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1623. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. YI. FOL. 293.] 

%* Surrey's reply to the preceding letter was strongly to adyise 
the qneen to free her son and cause the lords to swear fealty to him, 
promising ample assistance in men and money if any proved disobe- 
dient.* The present is Margaret's rejoinder. 



My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you, and I have re- 
ceived your writing this Friday from Patrick Sin- 
clair, and understandeth at length ; which methinks 
right good and well devised in all ways, and there 
shall be no fault in it that I may do possibly. 
And as touching the taking forth of my son, he 
shall be forth Monday or Tuesday, and come to 
Edinburgh, or he shall be held perforce ; and then 
you shall be advertised in haste. And as to your 
coming into Scotland, the lords is advertised of it, 
but methink they set nought by it ; for they say 
that you dare not come inward nearer them than 
this border ; and that they say they set not by, for 
they will do as much ill hereafter. Therefore, my 
lord, if you think at this time to cause the lords to 
leave the governor's ways, and the part of France, 

» Cotton. MS. Calig. B. II. fol. 196. 



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97^ LETTERS OF aOTAL AND 

you must come nearer Edinburgh, or else to the 
same ; for I assure you, if you will do it, that the 
lords will do what you will desire, both for the 
taking of the king forth and for peace. And if you 
do not, no nearer than the March or Teviotdale, all 
the great expenses and costs will be for nought ; for 
the lords set not by the hurt of the poor folks, but 
laughs at the same : and this is of truth. Where- 
fore, my lord, either come to Edinburgh or near 
about it, and I shall take upon me that the lords 
shall send to you, and make offer themselves, and 
put forth the king ; for I assure you that a thousand 
men, with artillery, may do with Edinburgh and the 
lords in the same as they will, without any impedi- 
ment, an they come suddenly, as now you may. 
And, failing of this, you will neither get the king 
forth nor yet the band of France destroyed, which 
will be utter destruction to the king my son and his 
realm.. 

Therefore now it is in your hand, do as you will, 
and either go to it shortly or let it be; for an you 
first destroy the poor commons, you will tine (lose) 
all their hearts, and the lords will not set by you : 
But first put the lords in fear of this town ; but I 
would you did no evil in it, but that I may get it 
assured for my sake, so that the lords will do any 
good way. For by any ways I would they left the 
governor's ways, or else it will be utter destruction 
to the king my son and his realm. And this is the 



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. ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 279 

nearest way to mend it. And I assure you that of 
great time you will not get a contrary. Think well, 
my lord, that I would not say this to you an if it 
were not of verity. And if I fail at this time, I will 
never trust to have good to me and my son. Where- 
fore, my lord, I pray you, failing of this, to let me 
come into that realm with my true servants ; for I 
will come away, an I should steal out of it. Where- 
fore I pray you, my lord, let me be advertised what 
you will do into this in all haste, with this bearer, 
Patrick Sinclair; for I dare not trust to no other, 
and he will make great diligence. Praying you to 
be good lord to him for my sake, and to do for him 
when he desires you in his need. Also, my lord, I 
thank the king's grace my brother humbly of the 
great kindness that he shews to the king my son 
and me, which we can never deserve ; but we are 
his own, and shall be at his commandment. And, 
my lord, for your part, I thank you heartily, for my 
son and I is greatly beholden to you for the gre«(,t 
labour you make for us ; wherefore I pray God that 
I may do you stead and pleasure. 

Headed, " The copy of the letter sent by the 
Queen of Scots to L, Surrey." 



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280 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER CVI. 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1523. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 181. Holograph,'] 

My lord, 

This t'other letter that I send now is by the 
counsel of the lords, which methinks in a part is 
not evil, for they desire to have you write to them 
your mind plainly, whereby that they may have the 
more cause for them to take the matter plainly, and 
to make you a good answer ; and I would you wrote 
plainly to them, saying that the king my brother 
desires the weal and surety of the king my son, as 
you have written to me before, and that it is a sus- 
picious thing to think that the duke of Albany 
should be governor and tutor to him, considering 
that the said duke, holdeth him next the crown 
after the king my son ; and this all the world will 
think, but they that would have the destruction of 
the king. And therefore, seeing that he is the 
king your master s sister's son, he hath great sus- 
picion in that, and therefore he will have it amended, 
or else he will not desist from making of war, and 
doing displeasure to them that doth assist to the 
same, with all such other clauses as you did write 
into my letter that you sent last, which was right 
well and kindly; and I think this (ought) to be 
done in all haste possible. And say, in your said 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 281 

writing to them, that I have desired you right 
heartily to write to the lords your mind, that you 
may have their answers, and that they do it with 
haste; and, failing that they take not forth the 
king and discharge the governor betwixt this and 
Wednesday, and they to send you a plain answer, 
I would counsel you to do forth on the sharpest 
manner, as I did write of before ; for else it is done 
but to abuse you and to cause you to forbear to do 
evil. And therefore I pray you, my lord, to haste 
this letter to the lords with your answer to me, that 
I may shew the same for my excuse, and that I do 
my part; and, in the meantime, to be the soberer 
and do the less evil, for it will be the more occasion 
to the lords to go to good agreement; and that t 
would were no stop, so that I might bring it to any 
good way. And God have you in his keeping. 
Written this Sunday. 

I did not shew the one of the letters that you sent 
last, for it was not needful to shew. 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 

My lord, — I send you here inclosed the instru- 
ment that I took yesterday before the lords for my 
discharge, and this I said mine own mouth to 
them; therefore, I pray you keep it, for I have 
the principal. 

To my lord of Surrey. 



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282 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

LETTER evil. 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, , a.d. 1523. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. VI. FOL. 379. Holoffrapk,} 

\* Through the dilatormess of the English, and their distnut of 
the Scotch, who on their part feared to phice much reliance on their late 
foes, the opportunity so fELVourable for resisting the power of Albany 
was lost. Surrey reproached the Scotch lords with their indecist<m,* 
whilst he wrote to England that the queen had no influence with the 
nobles, that he had not sufficient force to march to Edinburgh, and 
believed the queen's principal motive in urging it to be that she might, 
under his protection, retire safely to England. *> The secret views of 
Henry and his council were decidedly opposed to her leaving Scotland, 
they having made a cool calculation that the expenses of maiTitftining 
her, &c. would be greatly increased by her coming to England.*: On the 
23d of September Albany landed at Kirkcudbright, and summoned the 
lords to a parliament on Michaelmas day, in which he persuaded them 
to an open rupture with England. Margaret seems at first to have 
wished secretly to retire to England, for she sent to try to borroiw 
horses to ride to Newbottle ;' but this scheme was abandoned, probably 
from its impracticability, and the queen performed the important part 
of informer to the EngUsh government, which her situation rendered 
her peculitgrly competent to fill. The dastardly conduct of the 
governor in this war excited vehement indignation amongst the 
Scots.* 

* Surrey to queen Margaret, Sept. 25th, 1523. Cotton. MS. 
Calig. B. I. fol. 182. 

i> Surrey to Wolsey, Sept. 21st, 1523. Ibid. B. VI. fol. 292. 

c Wolsey to Surrey, Oct. 7th, 1523. Ibid. foL 452. And Surrey to 
Wolsey, Oct. 10th. Ibid. fol. 283. 

^ Letter from a servant of the chancellor to the prioress of Cold- 
stream, dated ''this Monday,'' probably Sept. 27th, 1523. Ibid. 
B. III. foL 179. 

* Several curious details of the campaign are given in a letter from 
Wolsey, dated Dec. 4th, 1523, to Sampson and Jemingham, ambas- 
sadors at the imperial court Middlehill MS. 4875, fol. 41. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 283 

My lord, 

I commend me heartily to yon, and wit you 
that I have received the king's grace my brother's 
writing with yours this Tuesday, whereof I am 
right glad that his grace is contented with me, and 
shall do my diligence in all things that I trust may 
be his pleasure and to your part. My lord, I am 
greatly beholden to you for your good mind toward 
me, and the great diligence that you make for to 
bring my good matters to pass, which e[ver] I pray 
God that I may deserve, and I thank you right 
heartily of the same. Also, my lord, where that 
you desire me in your said writing to advertise you 
of such things as I can get knowledge of, and what 
is the duke's purpose, I assure you that I leave 
nothing undone that I may on that behalf, but all 
things is kept from me as far as the duke may : in 
so far that he addresseth all his matters into Glas« 
gow, four-and-thirty miles from Edinburgh, and 
, there he hath holden his council with the lords, and 
hath determined to come upon England with all the 
power that they may possibly, and thus to pass 
forwai^d this day fifteen days. This is of truth : 
therefore, my lord, if ever England made them 
against Scotland, make them now right strong ; for 
I assure you, since Scotland was Scotland it was 
never made so strong. And therefore I warn you 
look upon your weal and honours, for you will be 
sharply assayed. But to shew you of truth whether 
that the duke will pass to east borders or the west^ I 



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284 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

promise you as yet there is none that knows, for 
the dake will not shew his mind to no Scotchman. 
But, as I can understand, he will pass himself 
to the west border, with the great power and 
artillery, and he will send part of folk and artillery 
to the east borders ; therefore take good await upon 
both the borders. And when that you send to me 
again the king's grace my brother's mind^ you shall 
be advertised farther, as I can get sure knowledge 
of all things : praying you, my lord, to continue 
towards me in your good mind, as you have shewn 
you, and to help to bring me to some good way, 
while that the king my son may do for me ; and it 
that the king's grace would do for me, I would it 
were soon, for the longer the worse. Now I will 
advertise you what he hath brought with him, and 
this I promise you is of truth : first, he hath eight- 
and-twenty cannons, and four double cannons that 
are far greater than any that was brought to Nor- 
ham at the field ; also he hath great pavasies going 
upon wheels with the artillery, to shoot and to 
break the hosts asunder, and of these he hath 
many, and every one of them hath two sharp swords 
before them, that none may touch them. They 
have by (besides) this, great number of smaller 
artillery of all sorts, and much powder, with all 
them that pertains to it; and twelve ships with 
victuals and wine. And of these they have sent 
four of their ships, with wine and flour, and four 
great cannons, to the west border. Also there is 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S85 

come foar thousand footmen, an hundred men of 
arms, there is fourscore of barded* horse. Thus all 
the Frenchmen are numbered in all six thousand 
men ; and I hear say that they shall be put in the 
vanguard, because he giveth not great trust to the" 
Scotchmen. Also they look daily for three thousand 
Almaim (Germans) to come the first fair wind that 
blows. Also I promise you that every body saith 
that thr^e hundred thousand hath not made this 
great provision ; also they have many crossbows and 
small hand guns, and pikes, and halberds a great 
number : and it is ordained, that all the boroughs of 
every town shall bide and keep their towns, but 
that they shall furnish forth carriages for seventeen 
days to bide forth. I promise you, my lord, they 
trust to win Berwick with other places, as they 
speak right plainly and despitefully,*' which doth 
me great displeasure. Wherefore I pray you, my 
lord, to cause, the king's grace to look well upon 
this matter, both for his weal and honour and the 
weal of his nephew : for, an they win any adyantage 
now, my son and I are undone, he will be so high 
in his mind. And think surely that 1 would not 
write this an it were not of truth. I can do no 
more for my part but advertise you of all things 
that I know, and that I shall not fail. Also I hear 
say that Richard de la Pole should come shortly 
into England with a power, and that there is in 

* Armed ; so used only in reference to horses. — See Nares' Glos- 
sary, 9ub voce. 

*> Dyspytwtyly in original. . 



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286 LETTERS OP ROTAL AND 

England that ^vrill take bis part; therefore look 
well about you. Now I have shewn you, my lord, 
all things that I know, I pray you that I be not 
out of remembrance, and to let me have utter 
answer what I shall trust to, and to devise how I 
may come away^ and to send me part of money, for 
an it had not been great need that I had, I would 
not have desired it* For I have nothing to find me 
my meat with, nor my servants, and my cupboard 
lying into pledge. And therefore I stand in a heavy 
case ; that, an the king's grace help me not^ I must 
of force desire help of the duke, and then he will 
cause me to do as he will, or else he will give me 
nothing. Thus I pray you, my lord, to consider my 
party and what case that I stand in, and would fain 
please the king's grace my brother, as far as lieth in 
my power. Also wit you that the duke came not 
towards me as yet, but he sendeth me very good 
writings of his own hand, and many fair words as 
can be devised ; but I give no credence to them, nor 
I desire never to be in his company, so that I may 
be sure of the king's grace my brother, that he will 
stand kind prince and brother to me, as my trust is 
be will do. 

My lord, I pray you keep my writings secretly, 
for an the duke get any knowledge, I will be 
destroyed : and when you send to me, cause 
Patrick Sinclair to be right wise in his doing ; 
and I pray you, my lord, to thank him of the good 
service he doth to me, and that you will be good 
lord to him for my sake, and haste me your mind 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 287 

again, and take my good will, though I cannot 
write well ; and God have you in his keeping. 
Written this Tuesday. 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 

My lordi — I had forgotten to write to you the 
nianner how it is ordained. First, the earl of Arran 
hath all the rule of Teviotdale and the Marches, 
and all Lothian, with Stirlingshire and Linlithgow. 
The earl of Huntley hath all the rule of the north 
parts, the earl of Lennox all the westland parts, the 
earl of Argyle the highland men. All these to be 
ready upon Tuesday eome fifteen days. And the 
lord Maxwell abideth upon his own border, and all 
that country to answer to him. And thus there is 
none that knoweth what part that he will pass to, 
for where that they are ordained to come it is alike 
to both the borders, and that will be done in haste. 
Also wit you that I trust that the duke shall be in 
Stirling this Wednesday, and speak with the king 
my son, and upon Saturday into Edinburgh. I 
durst not pass to Stirling, for I am warned that an 
I come there I shall be holden there against my will ; 
and therefore I abide in Edinburgh, while I get the 
king's answer : and God keep you. 

Written this Tuesday. 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 

. To my lofd of Surrey. 



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288 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

LETTER CVIIL 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1523. 

[cotton. MS. cALiouLA, B. I. fol. 281. Holograph."] 

My lord of Surrey, 

I commend me heartily to yoa, and wit you that 
I have received your writings, with other writings 
written out of France, which metbinks are right 
good, and I pray God bring them to a good end, to 
the pleasure of the king's grace my brother. Also, 
mj lord, I thank you of your good remembrance and 
kind writing, which V pray God that I may quit. 
And as touching the king my son, thanked be God 
he is in good health, and I am with him into Stirling, 
and thinks not to be far from him for any danger 
• that may come, if that I be not put from him by 
force. I beseech God if that you saw him, so that 
nobody knew of you but I, and I trust you would 
be right well contented of him. Also wit you, my 
lord, that the governor is in Edinburgh, and I saw 
him not since he came from the unhonest journey ; 
but he thinks no shame of it, for he makes his 
excuse that the lords would not pass in England 
with him, and that is my lord of Arran and my lord 
of Lennox, with other lords, and says that they 
would have sold him in England, and therefore he 
hath begun the parliament this Tuesday next 
coming, and hath sent for all the lords again. I 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 289 

trust to do little good to them, as they are well 
worthy; for an they had jione as they should, 
we had been quit of this cumber. As to all matters, 
I have sent my plain mind of before to you with my 
servant, master John Cantley ; wherefore, my lord, 
I pray you heartily to do so to me, that I need not to 
set by the displeasure of the duke^ or else I must be 
content to follow his pleasure, whether it be against 
the king my son or not ; for there is none here that 
will contrary his pleasure, suppose he do never so 
evil: and this I assure you. And yoU know well, 
my lord, that my living that I should live upon is 
here^ and he may do with it as he pleases. As I 
have been in treated since ray last coming out of 
England, it is well known ; and hath lived (not) 
like a princess, but like a sober (poor) woman, and 
fain by force to take any money that the duke would 
give me : as I have written toyou of before, and hath 
gotten no answer of effect. Also you write to me to 
take good heed to the keeping of the king my son. 
As to that I shall do that is in me, with parlr of 
support of the king's grace my brother, that I need 
it not to set by the duke, nor his displeasure ; you 
shall see me take it well upon me^ and not set by 
him ; and if it be not thus I dare not displease him, 
for I have nothing to hold up my honest susten- 
tation to find me. Wherefore, my lord, I pray 
you consider my part, and shew it to the king's 
grace my brother, and beseech his grace to have 
regard to me ; for the better that I be, the king my 

VOL. I. o 



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Q0O LETTERS OF ROYAL ANJ^ 

son will be the better, and I may tbe letter do tbid 
king's grace vnj brother honour and pleasure. And 
right in short time.'^ I trust the king my son may 
be steadahle (serviceable) to bis grace ; and there- 
fore, for a little cost ajid. Qumber, his grace may not 
leave it now, but be his defendei: and mine : for we 
hjave no othei; to trust in. And I shall deserve it the 
best I caQ, and shall advei1;ise you of all things that 
I uiay know<9 so tl^at yqu keep it secret ; for X dread 
that there b^ pant aniongst you tb^ is not Tery true, 
but thai; sheweth t)^e duk^ ^11 thipga, which I dare not 
name. And. I p^y ypu( beware with JohQ Somerville^ 
fqr I trust he hath sent divers, m^^ssages to the duke. 
I pray, you,, my lord; let nonet wit of my writ- 
ing but tjie king's graf?^ qi;. ^y lord m^quis; 
for it will do m& ^0^, hurt, ai|d put me in great 
trouble. Also I pray yo^. heartily tp injteeat well 
Pat^ipk Sinplafr,. fpr he i^ a true serv:ant to me,, and 
I dar«e npt sen4 ^if^c wne but witl^ hij», by the go- 
vernor's will ; ai>d therefpre bid him be right wise in 
his sending) and th$^t it be, with a: trusty man, for 
there is a wait laid for to ge\, n^r writings. No 
mpre, but I pray you, my lord, to send me your 
mind witb Patrick Sifl^lair> aiMJi yoU{ shall be ad- 
vertised of all^ things that \ k;now. And I pray you, 
my lord, to continue my good friend; as you have 
been, and I shall deserve it to my power, ai^d that I 
may have the thanks of any good peace or thing 

* Far **in right short time.*' 



J 



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i£at may be good to this realm, a» m j. trust is ; and 
God have you in his keepings. 

Written at Stirling, the 14th day of November, 

Yours, 

Maboaret R. 



LETTER CIX. 

Maargaxet Queen of ScoHtmd ta the Duke of AUnamf^ 
A,B. 1523. 

' [if I8CSLLANEOUS BXCHBQVSR DOCVMSITTS, 8BC0ND SBBIBS^ 
1(0. 2514, CHAPTBR-ftQU8«.] 

%* Althoagh tiie dqke of Albany b«d at first treated (^e queen 
with setnuni^ c9wrte»r, m^ bad indiv^d ber to 1199 ber iodiiencit in 
trying to obtm a truce with England^ yet, finding Henry VIII. re-^ 
solute to make no peace but upon condition of his expulsion from the 
regency, he changed measures, r«mo?ed Hie queen from her son, and 
plao^ biB OFn i^ents abont the yqung- king,* of couvee to the great 
dispteasnre of Margaret* She announced the circumstance to the 
king in the following brief but characteristic note :— 

You sh^U wit that I am of force put away from the king, a« in a 
part you may see by other letters that this bearer will shew you with 
credence to him : and answer, for it was nerer so greait nif^tir 
<neQd): therefore let me wit the rest. In all hatte. 

Written ye wit whom.'^ 

To the right high and mighty pnnce my dearest 
brother the King. 

» Letter from the lords of th© council to queen Margaret, Nov. 14, 
1523 ; Cotton. MS. Calig. B. I. fol. 309. Surrey to Wolsey, Dec. 2, 
Wolsey Papers, vol. xi. pt. ii. fol. 2 ; State Paper Office. 

b Cotton. MS. Calig. B. I. fol. 117. Holographs 



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^ — / 

The two following letters explain her feelings at this crisis. The one / 
to Albany is characterised by greater dignity than usually perradeit - ^ 
queen Margaret's letters : — 

My lord and cousin^ 

I recommend me humbly to you. I have re- 
ceived your letter from monsieur OonzoUes, and--^ 
understands his credence, (in) the which are many 
fair words, as I have had here before ; and when the 
deed and the word is all one I shall thank you, 
and I trow it shall be to your honour. Pmying 
you to have remembrance how you have desired to 
send master John Cantley to my lord of Surrey for 
to make some good way betwixt you and him, the 
which I have done the best that I could, thinking 
well surely to have your good- will to me without 
changing ; and seeing since you, my lord, and the 
laif {rest) of the lords has ordained that I shall not 
abide with the king my son, but whiles to come and 
see him. And if this be reasonable or honourable I 
report me to the deed ; and I believe in God that 
hereafter you shall have cause to bethink you of the 
good and true part I have kept to you, praying God 
to keep the king my son from evil : for the ap- 
pearance is not when his mother is put forth of his 
company, and they put about him that sets nought 
by to put his life in extreme danger for good or 
profit to themselves. For one of them, my lord 
Fleming, as in times bypast he has not governed 
him well, as is known in Scotland, and as I have 
shewn of that before to the lords, notwithstanding it 
is force that I suffer for a little time. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 293 

And where you say, my lord, that I should not 
give credence to them that says evil of you to me, 
now yon shew by your deeds that I have cause to 
give them credence touching myself; for the most 
displeasure that I might have in this world, all ex«- 
cepting my life, you and the lords has done to me 
now, to put me from the company of the king my 
son. But if there happens any evil, as God keep 
him, I desire not to be with him. But if the ap« 
pearance be good of them that is about him, I shall 
be of good will, the which I pray God give you 
grace to do for your part ; and for my part^ I assure 
you, my lord, that at the departing of master John 
Candey I was in all so good will to do for you and 
your pleasure as was possible to me, as I have shewn 
more at length to monsieur GonzoUes to shew you. 
But now I see well my reward, trusting firmly that 
God shall help me and my just quarrels and cause ; 
and God keep you. 

Written the second day of October. 



LETTER CX, 

Queen Margaret to the Earl of Surrey, a.d. 1623. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. POL. 279. Holograph,'] 

My lord of Surrey, 

When I had written all this letter that I send to 
you with this, there came a hill (messenger) to me 



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294 LETT£tiS OF ItOYAL AKD 

this Taesdajr out of Edmboroiigh^ that had ridden 
4dl ik%fat, waining me of the new rule that the go- 
vernor and the lords hath made at this parfiameiit, 
and hath concluded, that is to say, they htfve or- 
^tored that the earl of Cassilis, the lord Fieming, tiie 
lord Borthwick,'' these four to be quarterly with the 
king my son, and the earl of Murray to be daily 
with the king, and i to come Imd see m^ son, and 
not remain with him. Thi^, my kord, I see great 
appearance of evil and danger to the king my son's 
person, wh^i that they that are true lords to tbe 
king my son be put from him, and them that lov«th 
the governor put to him, and that I know perfectly 
would have my son destroyed for pleasure of the 
tduke ; and, most suspicion of all, they will not that 
I remain with him, but to come and go. But as yet 
I am here with my son the king, and shall remain 
in the despite of the governor, without that he take 
me away perforce. And therefore, my lord, fin- 
God's sake, look well upon this matter ; for now is 
time when such rules is begun for the utter de- 
struction of my son, and that you will see some 
remedy to this, and to advertise me what I shall do ; 
and if I and the goVemor discord, what shall be your 
part to me, and what help I shall get to bear me 
forth; for he and I shall not agree upon this. I set 
not by nothing in Scotland, an the king my son be 
not well. My lord, I pray you look well upon this 

* tlie fourth lord omitted in this enttmeratidn was lord Erskine. 



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inatter, and liffste tne your mind iirith all diligence ; 
aftd If it 'happen thrft IT)e ptft frdm tlie khig, as they 
have ordered ih ttife pfeTliaitoeiA^odo, what can my 
biding here do to the king my son nor to myself? 
For from that thne I be put from Vht king my son 
there will none set by me here ; *nd thferrfore, my 
lord, I pray you let me coine (to) ^at realm, and 
devise the' best way for me and the king my son^ &s 
my trust is in you. And be not blinded no more 
with the duke's falsehood, and make no truce nor 
abstinence while this be remedied, for no sending 
without that I send you a token. And haste me 
your counsel, I p'ay you, and cause the prioress 
of Coldstream to send surely the answer to me of 
this bin, and send her word that you will do for her, 
and keep her from trouble, so that she will be true 
to me. For there is none that may do it so well 
and surely as she may, to convey letters betwixt ; 
and if she fails to do it, that yon will cause her place 
to be burnt. And this 1 pray you not fail to do, 
and God kee;) yon^ and send you grace to help the 
king my son out of his enemies' hands, which he will 
daily be in now with these persons that they put to 
him. For the lord Fleming, for evU will that he 
had to his wife, caused to poison three sisters, and 
one of them was his wife ; and this is known of truth 
in all Scotland. And if this be good to put to the 
king my son, God knoweth. And another thing I 
know perfectly, that he would have toy son dead, 
for the govern,or and the *earl 'of Murray such like. 



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296 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

for the governor hath his sister now to his paramour. 
All this is of truth that I write to you ; and there- 
fore I pray you, my lord, see the best remedy^ as 
my trust is in you. 

Written in all haste possible, this St. Catherine's 
even,* in Stirling, 

Also the captain of artillery is one about the 
king. 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 

To my lord of Surrey. 



LETTER CXI. 

Queen Margaret to the Duke of Albany. a.d. 1523. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. POL. 159. OriffituiL^ 

*:,,* It is curious, even in Uie history of state diplomacy, to note 
the coohiess with which queen Margaret, after her strenuous oppo- 
sition to tlie duke of Albany, after the abuse she had heaped upon 
him in her letters to England, and the pains she had taken to frustrate 
his measures, could assure him of her fidelity to the French party, 
and that he could never have a truer friend than herself ! 



My lord and cousin, 

I recommend me humbly to you. I have re- 
ceived your letter by Mons. GonzoUes, v^ith one 
letter of the lords, the which has shewn me the 
ordinance that you and they have made, and how 
they have prayed and ordered me that I shall not 

• November 24th. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S97 

abide with the king my son, but to come awhiles 
and see him. My lord, I think it right strange that 
this is your will, seeing the good and true part that 
I have kept to the king my son, and to you, and to 
this realm, and the displeasure that I have had of 
the king my brother (and) my friends for your part. 
Thinking firmly to have been assured of your good 
will toward me, as your letters does show by your 
fair words, the which that I have hope that such a 
prince as you will not forget, nor cause me to tine 
(lose) my good will for your own honour, seeing 
that so many princes know how I have done for you, 
and hath never failed to the king my son nor you. 
Wherefore, if this be your pleasure, let me wit it, 
and I shall do the best I may for myself while that 
I may find a better time. ' But I shall be continually 
in great fear of the king my son's person, as I shall 
gar (cause) it be well known. And you shall know, 
my lord and cousin, hereafter, that it is and shall be 
in my power to do good and honour to you and this 
realm, if I were well entreated ; and one truer than 
me you shall never find, and have so evil a reward 
as I. I think also that for the good part that I 
have kept to the French king, that I should not be 
thus entreated ; as I will ask, if it be his pleasure. 
For, my lord, you said to me that he commanded 
you to do for me, and to treat me well, which had 
been to his honour and yours. It is force that I 
speak for myself, when I am put from the thing 
that I love best in the world ; as God knoweth, 
o2 



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^898 tfirTERB OF ROYAL AND 

whotti give yon better eonnsel, for the good of the 
king and your own honour. 

Written 26tfi day of Norember. 

MARChARfil' R. 



LETTER CXIL 



Queen Margaret to the tiarl of Surrey, a.d. 1523. 

[bOTAL letters, vol. B. II. 10, FOL. 213, ROLLS-HOUSE. 

BbUgraph,} 

%* On the 28th of November, 15^, fhe lorite dP the articles 
wrDte to qtieMi Mftrgartt, •Mraring^ lior ^^ tdeBty lof the penons 
they had placed about the ki^gv pramisiii^ Co eiert l^edteelTes still 
farther in reference to her dower, and announcing that in eight days 
ihey, along with the gWemor, would cOtob oi)i^'to Stirling to see her 
theUe and bring umtten to a «oncl««ioii. ISie piortijbiilitfe of thefa- 
interview are detailed in the present letter, which, long as it is, is 
entirely in the handwriting of the queen. In it she shews ev6n more 
than her wy)nted etk&rgy"f and m\u^ tabt too, in \Alt attempts to induce 
her bn)ther to fveater liberality, by bottstfaig the offm 9f pemrion 
made her by the French king. The letter closes abruptly, having 
neither signature nor supersbHption. 



My lord of Snrt'ey, 

I commend mse heartily to yon, and wit yon tftat 
I have receiyed your writing from sniister Joim 
Cantley my s^ranty and h«th ondtarscood his Oi%- 
denoe ; and at hie commg I ^8b not into Stiriinje^, 
but when I kn^w of his eomtng I pmiNfd away to 
Stirling. And as he hath i^wn me the king's 
grace my brother s mnd fi«d yonrs^ I ishUl ftilfil 
the befit I can, and shall not &AI on my pttrt. Abo 
I will advertise you of sudi things as hath been 



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Aotie at this tiitafe. As to the first point, I sent you 

tke letter thtit the lords sent to ttie, with a letter of 

Hhe governor's, that yon might miderstand their 

minds toward me ; and now I iBenA you with this 

writing my aniswers again that I sent to them, when 

master John Cantley wa* inili yon. Secondly, my 

lord, the govemot came here to Stirling, an<i the 

lords with Mm, 'Oxt 9th day o(f December, and came 

that sam^ day to the king my son, and I Svas there 

present; and mfter he hfisd spoken to the king he 

came to mf^, and excused Mtti id me, saying, thiat I 

was displeased at him ; and I ati^ered I had no 

diher 'ckuse, as farther I wouJd sftie^ b^o^e him and 

the lords. Thefn th^ neit dtiy ^ftei-, ^ife and ihe 

lords came to the council, knd 1 Wats "pre^etA, and 

said to them that I understood tli6 olrdiiiatnce and 

rtrle that they had ihkik, that I should hot remiain 

with th^ king my son, and th&t they hhre pu!t iJhe 

earl of MuVray, th6 ^al^ of Ca^silis, and the lord 

Fleming, and the lord Bortliwick to be abotit the 

king lAy son's peiisoA, wMch I AocTght not tieedful, 

sering ftmt his person hath b^xen ftnrely kept hithei*to 

with good, true, irtse forAs, tod that liiey have not 

fkiled in nothing ) and as to ttiy part, I had nev6r 

made no dan^e of ^suspicion t^ !fe put iVoYn the king 

my sofe : ^erefofre I hfad gV^t maW^l lAi6y should 

do that to m^, but I perceived well that it ^as done 

for hntt to the king my son : wlierefore t have them 

in great suspicion that should be about his person, 

s^ing that they will not take the charge npon them^ 



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300 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

I being with the king my son; wherefore I dis- 
assented to their innovations, and if any thing hap- 
pened it should lie to their charge. And I dis^ 
charged me with many other sharp words that were 
too long to write. And the governor took an in- 
strument after mine, and said that if that the lords 
would not fulfil it that they had done, that they 
failed, and that he laid the charge upon them if 
any inconvenience came thereafter. And thus we 
departed that night. The next day the governor 
came himself to the king my son^ and desired him 
that he might speak with him and me : and then 
he shewed to the king and me the order that was 
devised by the lords and him, touching such persons 
as should be about him, and prayed him and me to 
be contented therewith. The king said, it that was 
for his good he would be contented with; and I 
answered that I had shewn my mind before him 
and the lords, and therefore I could say no more 
then. I was warned that the governor had sent to 
fetch eight hundred of his Frenchmen, which should 
have passed to the west sea, and that he ii^s in 
purpose to take the king to another place, and to 
have put me from him. Wherefore, to eschew more 
evil appearing, I thought for that time I would not 
contrary them as to the lords that should be about 
him; but I said before the lords then, that it that 
was for the good of the king my son's person I 
would be contented with, and that I should be a 
good Scotswoman. And then I departed, and I took 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 301 

an instrament before witness that I revoked any thing 
that I did at this time, for it was to eschew a greater 
inconyenience that was appearing in the time to- 
ward the king my son's person. After this, the 
governor . desired at the lords, I not being present, 
that they would give him licence to pass his way 
into France,, not speaking of his . returning again. 
And he had made him ready and his ships to pass ; 
but the lords, both spiritual and temporal, would 
not condescend to it for nothing that could be done; 
but said that he should not pass, for an he did they 
would discharge their bonds to him, and the autho- 
rity that he hath : and if he would abide with them, 
they would give him the profits of all the benefices 
with their own, and the temporal lords would abide 
continually with him, and spend their goods with 
him in his service, and by this they would find the 
governor as much to spend as I should have. Not 
the less he would not be content with this, but he 
would pass his way. And upon this they sat three 
days, and . yet the lords would not consent to hi» 
passing away ; and now he will abide while Candle- 
mas, and will hold his Christmas into Edinborough. 
And the cause of this is about the benefices, for the 
governor hath named them to sundry persons, but 
he hath not made them no surety, but holdeth them 
in his hands: wherefore tUey think, an he pass 
away, that he will dispose them otherwise at his 
pleasure, and that hath caused them to do this for 
heir profit, and not regarded to the weal of the 



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302 LETTEES OT ^OYAX AND 

king my son ^nor his reftlm. And pfrrt of their 
bene^ees spiritual men hftth, Another part to tem- 
poral lords for their friends, ms the earl of Arraii, 
the earl of Avgyle, whieh I trusted should not have 
come to the governor, bat to have bidden forth 
at this tittie, irhreb made n^e to be the starker 
(stronger) 'Id; <niy opinion : bat I had not one person 
that took vny ipart, nor that woald disfpiease the 
governor for the ireal of the kiog my soft. There- 
fore, my lord, I p^ay you consider this well, and. 
shew it to the king's grace my brother, tfkat tber^ 
nay be t^medy seen for the same, seeing &at i 
advertise yon of all tilings. And as to my |mrt^ 
teaching the biding Iritk l^he king my son, I sha^ 
toot fail as long as I may bide, wad that i itfiay gm 
any thing to hold toy exposes with. Btrt the lords 
sheweth well by their doings to me, tfaitt tiiey wonld 
that I were from my soti the \kn%i tot one way 
they have oi^ined me, as you may see by their 
^vrritings that I s^nt to you, and another «aase they 
will not Mswer ^e of livitiEg ; in so fii^ as i desifred 
them to se^ a way for me how I should be ^answered 
of my living conforming to their own bonds^ or else 
that [they] would see some other good way for me, 
that I mi^ht live to my honour, or el«6 that l^ey 
would give me leave to cmn gold or silver to «iliake 
my expenses. As to the answering of my oonjoiiit 
feoffment, th^y say that they cannot help me for 4ii^ 
war that the king's grace my brothel makes oft this 
realm ; and as to any o*er help, Ihey khovr irot 



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iLLtJSTliKWS LADIES. 308 

where it may he gotten ; and as to let me strike 
any money, either gold or silver, it will do great 
liart : and thus they will not cMsent to nothing 
how thut I mfty liv« with my son. Tii^refore, if 
the king's graee my hrother will that I ahide with 
the king my son, he m^t hel)^ me with part to 
sustain me, as Ms ^ade hath done in a jNirt, whereof 
I thank hisgraite right humbly; and i fliiaH do as 
he com»nandeth me as l^ng as [I] may, and shall 
mle m^ as soberly as I oan, with part of servants els 
I may beat, that there shall be no fault in it that I 
may do : and therefore ttiy i^efdal trust is tikat his 
graee Will not fhil me, for the good of the king my 
^m und me. Wherefoi^ I pray yoti heartily, my 
lord, to eatis^ me to he advei^tised of the king's 
gtace my brother's pleasure t^duehing these matters ; 
for I promise you, my lord, on my honour^ that I 
ha^e written nothing in this leif^f but tfaiit halh 
been done and said at this 1;ime, or else let me never 
have credenee, which I woidd thmk r%ht heavy. 
Also, my lord, when that I came before the go- 
vernor and the kH*ds, when they si^t at ^Ifbe parlia- 
ment, t asked at thtem wherefore I wais holden si:m- 
peet to be with the 'king my son : akid they said, it 
was the lords that was ordained to be %b6ut his 
person iiM Hsnid that i Avas your sii^er^ ^nd tbat 
peradventmie t would take htm into England, 
thinking that I did for his weal; and thitt they^ 

^ l^c^ fa ori^atal» 



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304 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

knew perfectly that the king my son would do more 
for me than for any other, wherefore they would 
take no charge on them : and the governor himself, 
with the lords, said this same language to me. And 
I answered to them that my deeds had shewn 
otherwise, wherefore that was but of malice and 
evil will, as I should cause it to be proved with as 
good as any there. And this I get for the king's 
grace my brother's sake ; wherefore his grace should 
help me and defend me, and let them wit that his 
grace knoweth this, but not by my rehearse, and 
that he is not contented that such things should be 
laid to my charge for his sake ; and send to me 
plainly, and ask if they have done thus to me, and 
that he marvels that I will not advertise his grace 
of these doings ; saying that he will defend me, and 
that he will not let me be wronged. And, this 
being done, it will cause the governor to pass away 
for fear, and cause the lords to fall from him and 
his purposes for very fear. For I ensure you that 
the duke is as afraid for England as can be possible ; 
and another thing, he dare never give trust to 
Scotsmen to fight against England, for he dreadeth 
that they will betray him. Therefore, my lord, I 
pray you consider all this well, and help to labour 
a good way for the weal and surety of the king my 
son and me, as you have shewn largely for your 
part to us, the which I pray God that I may acquit 
and do you pleasure for the same: for, next the 
king's grace my brother, I am most beholden to you 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 305 

of any. And I tbank you heartily, my lord, of the 
good entreating that you made of master Johin 
Cantley, and that yon took so kindly with him for 
my sake ; wherefore he is bound to do you service, 
and will do. Also, my lord, I have received two 
hundred angel nobles from master John Cantley, 
that the king's grace my brother sent me ; whereof 
I thank his grace humbly : for an it be not his help, 
I am constrained to leave this realm for fault 
of my honest sustentation. But the duke and the 
French ambassador that is here hath proffered me, 
in the French king's name, five thousand crowns of 
the weight in pension, so that I will help to keep 
the band betwixt France and this realm ; which I 
have refused, because I will do nothing contrary 
the king's grace my brother's pleasure, as he shall 
find. Praying you, my lord, to haste me answer 
of these my writings, and that they be secretly 
kept, for they may do me great hurt, as my trust 
is in you. And if you pass up to the court, my 
lord, I pray you haste me answer, and forget not 
me and the king my son ; and if any other thing 
occurs in haste, I shall send it to sir William Bul- 
mer to send to you, for I will send to none other, 
for I know how I have been done to in times past : 
as God knoweth. 



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S06 I/ETl^RS OF ROYAL AND 



LiETTER CXIII. 

Margaret Countess af Salisbury/ to the King and 
Coundl. 

]iOLL8'>Hou9E. Corteoted Drouffkt^ 

*^* Hie moumM fate of Margaret countess of Salisbury, the last 
imnriving cWld and h^r of George dube of Clarence, brother <>f 
Edward IV., has excited for her a ipower^ interest. The lead^ 
events of her life are well known. Left a young widow, she obtained, 
by a grant from. Henry VITI., the style tod title of coilntaffls of SaBs- 
bury, as heiress of Richard earl of Salisbttiry, her Inatemal grand- 
iBither. Her royal descent, great wealth, and intense energy of cha- 
racter, gave her a prominent position at court. She was also a 
patroness of lemming. At her request, Greniian Hevet undertook -Ins 
translation of Erasmus' Latin treatise, ** De Contemptu Mundi,'' 
which was published in 1533. Though pressed, and even persecuted, 
to enter again into the marriage state with sir William Compton, she 
steadily refiued, although her refusal was attended with coifsiderable 
trouble to herself from the resentment of her rejected suitor.^ The 
former of the two letters, now laid before the reader, shews the 
energy with which the countess busied herself in the management of 

* Amongst the Miscellalieotts Correspondence, in the Sthte Paper 
Office, first fleries, vol. vi. fol. 106, is a curious anonymous letter, 
seemingly from a legal adviser of the countess of Salisbury, about a suit 
between the'king and her for 'five thousand Inarks yearly revenue from 
some of her manors. *On ber rctttortttidb'to 'the Ifttatte of Salisbury, 
she had presented one year's rent of these manors, amounting to the 
sum of five thousand marks, to the king, to aid in his wars ; but on 
her rejection of sir William Compton, he, *in revenge, insinuated to 
the king that the manors belonged of right to the dukedom of Somerset, 
and not to the earldom of Salisbury, and that, therefore, he had a 
right to claim the five thousand marks yearly. The issue of the con- 
test is not recorded. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. SO? 

her ext^ififve estates.* The latter refers to her official sftnttion as 
gO¥ W U M s to tlie princess Mary. 



To the king's majesty and to his most honourable 
council. 

In her most humble wise sheweth and com- 
plaineth unto your highness your true and faithful 
subject, Margaret countess of Salisbury, that where- 
as she was- peaceably seised by true title of descent 
of and in 200 acres of wood, with the appurtenances, 
in Shirley within your county of Hereford, in her 
demesne as of fee, unto the 16th day of February 
last past ; that one Henry Frowick, esquire, (and) 
John Basset, gentleman, with divers other riotous 
and ill-disposed persons of the servants and re- 
tinue of the said Henry and Basset, to the number 
of twenty persons, and men to your said subject 
unknown, in form of war arrayed, that is to say, 
with swords, bucklers, bills, bows and arrows, into 
the said wood riotously entered^ and then and there 
with the said riotous persons cut and felled down 
as much of the wood of your said subject as amounted 

^ Several legal and other documents of the countess are scattered 
amongst the miscellaneous records of the treasury of the Exchequer. 
No. 1161 of the second series of the miscellaneous Exchequer docu- 
ments is a book of her accounts during the thirtieth year of Henry V III. 
No. 1542 is an account of a lawsuit between her and one Bowman 
and others relative to some possessions in Hertfordshire. A long list 
of her lands is given in Dugdale, vol. ii. p. 292 ; and an indenturCi re- 
lating to some manors, in Chapter-house Records, vol. A. IV. 5, fol. 55, 
Rolls-house. 



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308 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

(to) about the value of lOOZ., contrary to your 'peace 
and law ; and ever sincei the said riotous persons 
daily continue in their said unlawful demeanour in 
the said wood, so that they will not suffer the ser- 
vants of your said subject to come into the said 
woody unless that your said subject will commit like 
riot| which she intendeth not so to offend your 
highness nor your laws. In consideration whereof, 
please it your highness of your most abundant grace 
to grant several writs of subpoena, to be directed unto 
the said Henry and John Basset, commanding 
them by the same to appear before your said high- 
ness and your said most honourable council^ at his 
palace of Westminster, and there to bring with 
them all such persons as were privy to the said riot 
at a certain day, upon a certain pain by your said 
highness to be limited, there to answer unto the 
premises; and thereupon to order both a sharp 
punishment, so that the same may be an example 
to like offenders to eschew to commit like offences 
hereafter. And your said subject shall daily pray 
to God for the preservation of your most royal estate 
long to endure. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 309 

LETTER CXIV, 

Margaret Countess of Salisbury to Lady Rede, 
[cotton. MS. YESPASiAN, F. XIII. ART. 116, FOL. 103. Oriffinal.'] 

Madam, 

I recommend me unto you, doing you to under- 
stand that I have received your letters by your ser- 
vant conceiiiing the marriage pf your daughter, by 
the which I do perceive that the gentlewoman, being 
accompanied with your said daughter unto your 
house, hath informed you that it was my mind for 
her to certify you that the comptroller of the prin- 
cess's household doth bear his singular favour to 
your said daughter. Truly she misused herself in 
giving you any such knowledge on my behalf, for I 
assure you that I did give unto her no command- 
ment so to do; for at that time I had heard no 
communication touching that matter. Howbeit, 
since our departing from Hartlebury, the said comp- 
troller hath moved and communed with me therein, 
of the which I have certified your daughter; but I 
can perceive nothing in her whereby any effect 
should be had or taken in that matter. Wherefore 
I pray you to be a good and natural mother unto 
her, and I doubt not but she will always use herself 
to you as a natural child ought to do to her mother ; 
and would advise you to look well upon the matter 
which I sent you word of beforetime, that it may 



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3rlO LETTERS op: royal and 

be brought to a good endi for in my mind it would 
be a very meet bargain if it be well finished and 
come to pass. And thus I pray Ood it may be ac- 
complisbed to both your comforts. 

From Worcester, the 20th day of August. 

Margaret Salisbury. 

To dame Anne Rede be these letters deliyered. 



LETTER CXV. 

Arittf^ Laiy Bede to Mr. Senry, Oalde* 

[mISCKLLANSOVS LETTBAS, first SBl^IES, VOL. II. NO* lOl, 8TATB 

PAPXB. OFvtcs, OrigmaW^ 

*^ The present letter seems, from mtemal evidene^y to have been 
written abput the same time as the previous letter directed to ^ame 
Anne Rede by the countess of Salisbury. That the writer was the wife 
of a knight is evident from the fact, that one of her letters in the same 
volume from which the present is extracted is endoned, '' My lady 
Rede.'' a << My lord's grace/' referred to ii^ the le^, must be the 
duke of Norfolk. There were only three persons in the court of 
Henry VIII. to whom the titie of grace could be given — Norfolk, 
Suffolk, and Woleey. The reference cannot be to Wolsey, because 
" my lady's grace" is also named; nor yet to the dulca o^ Sufiblkr 
since he was then the husband of Mary queen-dowag^r of France, who 
always retained her regal title. Henry Golde was chaplain to the 
archbishop of Canterbury. 



Master Henry, 

I recommend me heartily to you : in like wise 
thanking you for your loving tokens to me and my 

^ Pol. 100« This letter is on law business. There is another firem 
her at fol. 99, requesting the aid of Golde to mak^ up her accounts, &o« 



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IliLUSTRIOUS LAWKS, 311? 

daughter. And I have seat iinjU> you th^ clotih. 
again, for my seirvants are purpo^edt to banre of a, 
higher price,, ond to lay thereto mpaey of their own. 
parse aM to. buy it theirself. And, sir,, the true 
name of the peiTsoa that wa9, is J/obn Ege. And 
iKhei^you are purposed to ride into. Buckinghaim* 
^hire about my business, you shall dp me a gr.eat; 
ple8sui:e so to do, and to bring with you hpme my 
rents^ and: to commune and apeak with, suck p^rsons> 
as yau think to. be, or may be i)piade,, i^y, frieiwJd iui 
my cause. And my load's counsel is^ th^ there be 
DO ex;^n^.inatiQn mad^^ of the witness that were^ at 
the ppss^siion taking exicept my lady's coujasdl do. 
think it very necessary. If so, that then master 
T. R(ede), my brother , meddle with the examination 
and not you, for causes: and that you, in none of 
my business, speak ^uch of my lord's^ gracQ or in 
his name. And according to your counsel I have 
sent unto you a letter frowr sir Giles Bryvel. 

Your tippet, I trust, shall be made after your 
desire. Of all such matters touching your brother 
I have made answer to himself; therefore, &c. As 
touching your Cambridge matter, I shall move my 
Iprd^s grace at time convenient; the wliich you 
shall know at your retui:n home. And where you 
write unto me that you fear your letters to be tedious 
to me because they be so long ; sir, they are to me 
npthing tedious or gr[ievous]i but very acceptable 
and pleasant, specially considering your kind dili- 
gence and laborious pains in writing, and other 



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312 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

ways. And as for little Whyghed, let him alone, 
for I am not purposed to bring him yet out of that 
parts. And, sir, it is so that the matter betwixt sir 
Giles Bryyel and my daughter is driven almost unto 
conclusion, and my lord's grace hath put your bro- 
ther in the letter of attorney for the possession 
taking of my daughter's enjointure, and to be there 
where the lands lieth, in the Easter week ; which, 
if he may thus do, I pray you to know his mind. 
If your brother be otherwise let, cause Hugh 
Morgen, when you are in Buckinghamshire, to be 
with me here on Thursday* at the farthest in the 
Easter week. Thus fare you well. At Knole, 8th of 

April. 

By me, 

Anne Kede. 

To hit ^ loving and trusty friend, Mr. Henry Gold. 



LETTER CXVI. 

Mary Zouch to Sir John Arundel. 

[cotton. MS, VESPASIAN, F. XIII. ART. 158, FOL. 152. Holograph.'] 

*^* The writer of this pitiful letter was the daughter of John ninth 
baron Le Zouch. His first wife was Dorothy, daughter of sir WiUiam 
Capel, knight, at one time lord-mayor of London. His second, the 
stepmother so bitterly complained of, was Susan, daughter and heiress 
of William Welby of HaUted, Lincolnshire, who surriyed him. The 

■ Or Tuesday? Teyfersday in MS. 
i* So in original. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 313 

letter is of uncertain date, but muBt liave been written before 1529» 
the period of Wolsey's disg^race. Sir John Arundel of Lanheme 
was the cousin of lady Zouch, Mary's mother, his father having mar- 
ried Mary Capel, her sister. 



Jesus. 
Right worshipfol cousin Arundel, 

In my most lowly manner I recommend me unto 
youy being very glad to hear of your good health 
and prosperity^ Cousin, the cause of my writing to 
you at this time is this, that I beseech you for the 
love of God and in the way of charity to have pity 
of us, your poor kinswomen, the which liveth in the 
greatest thraldom of the world, and ever has done 
since the death of my good lady and mother, on 
whose soul God take pity* Wherefore, my good 
cousin, I pray you to be so good to us to sue to my 
lord cardinal for ua that it will please his grace to 
speak to the king and to the queen, that we may do 
her grace service, or my lady princess ; and we shall 
pray for his grace the term of our lives, by the grace 
of God. Cousin, if you did know how we were 
dealt withal, forsooth you would marvel, for we see 
nothing that should be to our comfort or preferment 
in any cause, but as we were foundlings that bad 
neither father nor friend to trust to; and all this 
causes my lady my mother-in-law, the which never 
loved none of us all, though we did never so much to 
please her, and causes my lord my father to be worse 
to us than he would be, and thus we are brought in so 
great sorrow that we are weary of our lives, for sor- 

VOL. I. p 



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814 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

row was the death of my good lady and mother, 
and so it will be of us, her poor children, if God 
help us not^ and you, that all my trust is on. Where^ 
fore now, good cousin, I pray you for the pity that 
Almighty God had of his blessed mother when he 
hung on the cross, that you will now help us, and 
we shall pray for you erer while our lives last ; as 
God knoweth, who have you in his merciful keeping. 
Written at Notwell, the 8th day of October, by 
the hand of your poor unfortunate cousin, 

Mary Zoucn. 

To the ri|^t ivorahipfol and raj abagolar 

i;ood cousin Arundel this be deliyered. 



LETTER CXVII. 

Margaret Queen of Scotland to Lord Dacres. 
A.D. 1624. 

£rAWL1N80N JiSfTSM, VOL. LXV. ART. XIII. BODLEIAN LIBKAST, 
OXFOKD.] 

♦^* In the spring of 1524 the duke of Albany renewed his attempts 
to tamper with the queen, and to induce her to join the French 
faction. Margaret, in a letter dated April 1st addressed to Surrey, 
who had just obtained a dismissal from his harassing joffioe of warden 
of the marches, tells hun what good offers the goTempr had made 
her, but, of course, professes to have rqected them all for the 
sake of maintaining inyiolate her fidelity to England. Hie post- 
script of the letter, which is written by herself, is as foUows: — 
*^ My lord, you shall understand that I have been right sick at the 
making of this writing, wherefore I could not write it all with mine 
own (hand), but I pray you that you take not the less regard (thereto) 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 315 

but ISmtyou cause me to hxve answer of my said writing that I hare 
sent to yon, as my tmst is in yon ; or else I will not trow that the khig's 
grace is content with me, and that you have forgotten me. I think right 
long till you come to these borders again, for I wiU neither write nor send 
to none other while I get you."* The lord Dacres, Surrey's successor^ 
treated the queen with but little courtesy, for, pleading pressing orders^ 
he reftised to allow her messengers to pass up to London,^ of which 
both she and Albany loudly complained ,c and not without cause ; for 
in the packet intercepted by Dacres was found a French bond, drawn 
up between the queen and governor, which of course she little desired 
should fall into the hands of her brother. The surprise which this docu- 
ment excited in England is detailed in the following letter from Wolsey 
to lord Dacres, dated April 24th :—** I received wifli your said letters 
a packet folded, and sealed with the queen of Scots* seal, wherein wag a 
letter from her to my lord of Surrey, and a writing, after the form of 
a copy of an instrument in French, of certain conventions devised be- 
tween her and the duke of Albany. In her said letter she writeth 
many things sounding to the constant mind aht hath to follow the 
king's advice and counsel in all her proceedings, affirming that she hath 
not seen the duke of Albany since' his arrival in Scotland, nor will do 
by her will as long as he shall remain there ; and tfaftt she is about 
her son the young king, who will do nothing but with her advice and 
counsel ; with many other demonstrations, seeming to tend unto her 
Arm and constant mind against the said duke of Albany. Neverthe- 
less the copy of the said instrument soundeth totally to the contrary^ 
as by the tenor thereof, which I send you here inclosed, you shall now 
perceive ; of which instrument, copy, or conventions, no manner men- 
tion is made in any letters, sent either from the said queen or duke to 
the king's highness, me, the earl of Surrey, or other person. Where- 
fore, inasmuch as it was folded in the said paper, without direction to 
any person, and sealed semblably with a letter of a contrary tenor^ 
which seals evidently appeareth to have been broken up, and the paper 
•closed again, it. is to be thought that there is some circumvention or 
craft used by the duke of Albany or some other in that matter. The 
king's pleasure therefore is, that you by your wisdom shall essay to 
know, if it may be, what this matter meaneth, and whether there be any 

a Cotton. MS. Caligula, B. I. fol. 209 b. 

* Lord Dacres to queen Margaret, April 11th, 1524. Ibid. 
B. III. fol. 141. 

c Albany to Dacres, 9th April, 1524. Ibid. fol. 143. 



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316 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

such conyentlons passed between the queen of Scots and the duke of 
Albany or not ; or how the said copy, whereof no mention was made 
in any letters, should come or be put into the paper, not having any 
■direction, with the letter of the said queen to my lord of Surrey.* 

Margaret's apologies for her conduct are very clumsy, pretending 
that she had never really made the bond which, signed and sealed, was 
in the hands of the English council ; but that she had sent it up to her 
brother that he might know what the governor desired from her. 
The two following letters are copied from a transcript made from the 
original MS. by Heame, the celebrated antiquarian. This MS., con- 
taining a number of letters on Scottish affairs about this period, is now 
in the possession of Miss Richardson Curzon of Craven, Yorkshire. 
Some of the letters, including these two, are printed at the end of 
Heame's edition of Otterboume and Whethamstead's chronicles. 



My lord Dacres, 

I commend me unto yon^ and wit you that I have 
received your letter written the fourth day of May, 
and understand the same. First, as to my writing 
that I sent to the king's grace my brother for the 
peace ; in that matter I have written and laboured 
divers times, suppose it came not to effect ; and yet 
I would be right glad to labour in that matter, so 
that my labour might come to pass. And where 
you write that in my packet that I sent with Robin 
Percy there was a paper sealed with my seal, written 
after the copy of an instrument in French, devised 
and passed betwixt me and the governor, and a letter 
sent to my lord of Surrey, in contrary sort ; of the 
which the king's grace my brother and my lord 
cardinal marvelled, and took the same in as good 
part as your writing bears : as to that, I sent the 

* Heame's Whethamstead, App. p. 598. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 317 

writing to the king*s grace mj brother^ to the 
effect that he might know that the governor de- 
sired such a bond of me. The which I refused to 
do, nor will not do, whatever may come to me ; how- 
beit I have great occasion, for I have written often 
since the departing of the earl of Surrey, and 
never gotten answer. And great business and 
labour has been betwixt the governor and you, 
to what effect I know not, whereof I marvel: 
for I think, an if any way should be made be- 
twixt these two realms, I think I should have been 
advertised, and have had my part therein. And 
where you say that I was so honourably married to 
be queen of this realm, and provided so substan- 
tially for my sufficient living, to be paid to me in 
the realm, or in any other at my pleasure, affirmed 
by the three estates of this realm as they are bound 
thereto ; as to that point, my marriage was honour- 
able, and for my substance or living I have never 
been answered, as you know, and as I have often- 
times written to the king's grace my brother since 
the decease of the king my husband, which were 
honour to his grace to hold me in my right, and 
cause me to be answered ; considering that I have 
no friends here, except his grace and the king my 
son, which is yet young : but I trust to God within 
short time he will not let me be wronged in this 
realm ; wherefore I will take patience for a time. 
Suppose I be now overlooked, I trust hereafter to be 
steadable (useful) to the king's grace my brother 
and my friends, for I trust the king my son shall 



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318 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

be right kind. And where you write that I have 
overseen myself in making of the foresaid bond, you 
shall understand that I have made no such bond, 
nor intend to do any thing which may turn me or 
mj friends to dishonour, nor hurt to the king my 
son, but shall remain with him how soberly that 
I may put off my time, without I be compelled 
odierwise for necessity and want of my living. 
Howbeit, an if I should follow other men*s minds, 
I might have aid and support, the which I shall be 
loath to do ; and for no favour of any Frenchman, as 
your writing proposes, I will not do nothing that 
may be reproach to me. And if any were intreated 
as I am, they would do otherwise than I have done, 
seeing that the king's grace my brother taketh no 
regard to me, nor to no writing that I send ; but 
that is by solicitation of my unfriends (enemies). 
And where that I have written often and divers 
times to his grace in such matters, concerning the 
weal of both the realms, and desired to understand 
his mind in the same, yet I could never get answer 
of the same. Wherefore, my lord Dacres, I pray 
you shew his grace that I think it right heavy 
and unkindly, considering I have not failed on my 
part, nor think not to do, praying you to cause me 
to understand the king's grace my brother's mind ; 
and God keep you. 

Written at Stirling, the 19th day of May. 
Your friend, 

Margaret R. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 31d 

LETTER CXVIIL 

Queen Margaret to Lord Dacres. A.b. 1524. 

[HAWLINSON LETTERS, VOL. LXV. ART. XIV. BODLEIAN LIBRARY.} 

My lord Dacres, 

I commend me to yon, and wit you that I have 
received your writing, dated the 27th day of May, 
which is right, sharp touching me ; whereof I hare 
great marvel, considering, that I did write my mind 
plainly to you, and answer to such things as you did 
write to me. Nevertheless I perceive that you give 
my writing no credence, and therefore I know not 
wherefore I should write to you ; and in so far as 
you contradict my said writing in saying that I have 
made the bond that I denied, and that it is known 
both in England and Scotland, — my lord, as to that 
you say no true, and that the deed will prove ; 
nor I have not done nothing contrary to my 
honour nor the weal of the king my son, nor 
will not do for none. And whereas you say that 
if I labour not for peace it is likely to be great 
trouble, God knows my part in that matter, and if 
I laboured not continually at the king's grace hard 
^-suppose I was not heard, nor yet no answer made 
to me. And now of late I sent my servant to that 
effect, and with my plain mind, and he could not 
get passage ; wherefore my labouring cannot come 
to effect, through the evil and felse report of my un- 
friends, which may never be so steadable to his grace 



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820 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

as I. And also, my lord, yoa say in your writing 
that I have gotten the ward and marriage of the 
earl of Hantley, for the bond that you say I have 
made, with other profits and gifts, which you trust 
will not do me great profit. 

My lord, I have marvel that you write to me in 
such a manner, wiih such words as yo\i do, consider- 
ing that I know better what I have done than yoa 
can do by false report: wherefore you should be 
better advised before you put any to me other than 
verity. For I trust my lord of Surrey, if he had 
been where you are, would not have written on this 
manner to me ; but I cannot get your kindness for 
nothing that I can do : suppose I be well known in- 
deed that I will not nor have not done, for no profit, 
otherwise than I should do, both for my honour and 
for the weal of the king my son ; and it that I have 
gotten hath not been for no such thing as you say 
in your writing, nor to much profit, as you speak of. 
I will say no more until that I understand the king's 
grace my brother's mind, which I trust is better to 
me than yours is, or else I would think that my 
good part was evil rewarded, and I would see the 
best remedy I might for myself. For I must live as 
long as God pleases, and so the best way I may for 
to live to my honour, and not live like a poor woman, 
as I have done this long time, without help or 
favour, as it may well be seen. For when it was 
ordained that I should have been put from the king 
my son by the lords, I did advertise the king's 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 321 

grace my brother, and sent him the lords' writing 
thereupon, and desired to know his grace's mind 
what he would that I did, and if his grace would 
make me any help I should withstand the duke and 
the lords to the uttermost ; and since the departing 
of the earl of Surrey from the borders I got no 
answer, and therefore I might have had great trou- 
ble and hurt, and the king my son in danger, and 
found no help nor favour to us ; the which I think 
right unkindly, but trust it comes not of the king's 
grace my brother's mind, but of my unfriends' so- 
liciting. But I trust his grace shall find that which 
in short time I may do his grace stead ; and as to 
any thing that I do I shall answer both to God and 
to the world, and I shall keep as good a part to the 
king's grace my brother as any other shall ; and, 
do you as well for your part as I do, you will de- 
serve the less reproof and displeasure of his grace. 
And therefore, my lord, reprove not me in the thing 
that is not truth, for I will answer for myself. And 
also, you say that the great abusions (deceptions) that 
the lords and I have with the duke's ways. As to 
their part I will not answer for them, for the deed 
may shew, but to mine own part I will not be abused 
with it ; for I look not that way, nor will not do 
nothing that may be hurt to the king my son, nor 
his realm : but if the king's grace be minded to do 
for the king my son, as I trust it be, he may shew 
it best in making a good peace betwixt these two 
realms ; and upon that his grace to send his good 
p2 



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322 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

mind to the lords here, and if they refiise it, then 
his graee hath the more cause to do displeasure 
here : and otherwise methinks his grace should not 
do no evil to the king my son, nor his realm ; as 
God knoweth, whom keep you. 
Written the laat day of May.* 

Margaret R, 



LETTER CXIX. 
Queen Margaret to King Henry VIII. a.d. 1524. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 211 b. Holograph.'] 

*** Tlie prooeedinge of the governor Albany, and in particular the 
close restraint in which he held the young king, began to diminish his 
popularity. The fickle Scottish lords again wavered in their fidelity, 
which the duke having perceived, had- asked their permission to retire 
into France. Tbia> had been readily granted, and with some difficulty 
he extorted from them a promise not to make peace with England till 
his return ; which promise they gave, rather to facflitate his departure 
than with any intention of keeping it.^ Scarcely was the powerful 
influence of his personal presence withdrawn, than the queen, in spite 
of her recent engagements with him, resolved, in compliance with the 

*- Several letters of queen Margaret's, addressed to the duke of 
AJlbany and the French government, about this period, are among the 
Archives du Royaume, Hotel Soubise ; but their publication here is 
waived, in deference to the wishes of M. Alexandre Teulet, who is 
about to print them in a forthcoming volume of Scottish cor- 
respondence of the 16th century, which he is editing for the Bannatyne 
Club. 

*» Letter from William Buhner to Wolsey. "Wolsey Correspond- 
ence, voL i. art. U9, State Paper Office. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 323 

wishes oi her bvotbo:, to make a new attempt to seize the government 
and displace the guardians of the young king appointed by Albany. 
It was essential to the schemes of Henry YIII. that Scotland should 
be ft-eed from the domination of French influence, and, before he 
durst trust his sister, he entered into secret negotiations ¥rith the 
young king himself, whose bold and martial ^irit was now rapidlj 
developing itself in a manner beyond his years. But such was Mar- 
garet's fickleness, tiiat tiiough, an the 24th of 'May, friar Jedworth^. 
the agent of Henry YIII. in Scotland, pronounced that it would be 
positively unsafe to let her have any share in the schemes for her son's 
lifoenHbion, for ** die and the duke were all one," » yet on the 26th of 
the following: mentk site wai. actirdy engaged in forwarding those 
very schemes — travelling to. Gallovray, on pretence of pilgrimage, tO' 
meet some lords there secretly, and mature her plans.'' The eageme8S> 
of tiie young king w«e so great, tSunt it was witii some difficulty that he 
was restrained till the arrangement weie tiiioffoiighiy completed.*^ The 
queen's earnestness on the subject is best expressed by herself. Their 
scheme proved successful within a few weeks after the date of the 
present. ktter.<^ The remonstraacee-of the queen against the return of 
the eaii of Angus into Scotland were occasioned by that ndblemytn. 
having stolen away from France to England, where he was endeavour- 
ing, by the most vehement protestations of fidelity to the English 
cause, to induoe Henry VHL t& procure Ma return to Scotland. The 
apologies made by Margaret for her * ' evil hand" will not be eonsidered 
superfluous by any on whom may have devolved the task of decipher- 
ing her hurried and uncoudi characters, especially when, as in the 
present instance; she wrote under the influence of strong mental, 
emotion^ 



Deajfest brotlier the kiag^ 

In my most hamblest wise I caa I recommend- 

a Bulmer to Wolsey. Wolsey Correspondence, vol. i. art* 150. 

^ The same to the same. Ibid. art. 146. 

c Lord Dacres to Wolsey, 12131 June, 1524. Ibid. vol. viii. part i. 
art. 20. 

** The letter of James V. to Henry VIII. announcing the fact of his 
fiberation by the aid of his mother, dated August 5th, 1524, is in Scot- 
land Royul Letters, voL i. art. 3, State Paper Office. 



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324 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

me to your grace; and please you to wit, that I 
have received your grace's writing the 7th day of 
July, with a writing of my lord cardinal, which I 
understand at length. And as to your grace's 
writing, I thank you humbly of your kind and 
loving writing, and that now your grace doth con- 
sider my good mind, which hath been ever on my 
part, suppose that my unfriends hath given your 
grace other ways to understand, for evil of the king 
my son and me. Also, dearest brother the king, I 
beseech your grace to remember well upon my last 
writings sent to your grace, and to make not long 
delay in helping of the king my son, to put him to 
freedom and out of danger of his enemies ; for now 
i& the time. For your grace shall understand that 
there is many lords well-minded to the same» and 
will be better, so that they may have your assistance 
and help, whereof your grace puts me in good belief, 
saying that the duke of Norfolk shall be here right 
shortly with your mind and pleasure ; whom-to you 
bid me give credence. Wherefore I beseech your 
grace to do substantially and kindly, so that this 
realm may have cause to do for you, and leave other 
ways. And, do your grace the contrary, the king 
my son will be the longer from his liberty, and his 
person in danger. And as to my part, your grace 
shall find no fault ; but I am a woman, and may do 
little, but friends. 

Also, dearest brother, I have seen your writing 
touching my lord of Angus, which, as your grace 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S25 

writes, is in your said realm, and that yoq purpose 
to send him shortly here, and that you find him 
right wise and hath ruled him well, and that he 
hath desired that there may be a peace laboured 
betwixt these two realms, and that he will do his 
labour and diligence to the same with his help, with 
many other good words of him ; and praying me to 
have him in my favour, and that he is well-minded 
to me, and beareth me great love and favour. 
Dearest brother, as to my lord of Angus and me, 
where your grace desireth me io take him in my 
favour; as to that, he hath not shewn, since his 
departing out of Scotland, that he desired my good 
will and favour, neither by writing nor word, but 
now that he hath desired your grace to write to me, 
knowing well that there is none that I will do so 
much for as your grace ; but I trust, dearest brother 
the king, that your grace will not desire me to do 
nothing that may be hurt to me your sister, nor 
that may be occasion to hold me from the king my 
son, both for his weal and mine. And now your 
grace understandeth in what state I stand in, and 
how the king my son is and will be ruled by me, 
and that I have laboured and broken many lords 
from the ways of the duke of Albany to his way, 
that he may be put out of danger, and that he and 
his lords may rule this realm with the help and 
assistance of your grace, wherein is all my trust. 
Wherefore, seeing all matters standing on this sort, 



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326 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

I would not your grace gave any oceasiou in the 

contrary to put it aback, but rather to forward it. 

And as to my lord of Angus coming here» it is not 

unknown to your grace, that there is great breach 

and disfavour betwixt him and great lords of this 

realm, which will not be contented with him, nor 

with me, if I go his way, but all utterly be contrary 

me^ and do that they can to have me from the kii^ 

my son, and will pat them from the good purpose 

they are in now ; which will be great danger to the- 

king my son's person an this time be overlooked. 

Wherefore I beseech your grace humbly to consider 

my part in this behalf, and bid me not now do the 

thing that may destroy the king my son and me,. 

seeing that I shew your grace plainly as it is. And. 

when your graee hath helped to bring the king my 

son out of danger, and that tie and his lords may 

rule this realm, and that there may be good peace 

betwixt your said realm and this, then your graee 

shall find me ready to do any thing that may be 

pleasure to yonr grace. And while that I see tln» 

come to a good end I can say no more, for your 

grace must pardon me to lodk for the weal and 

surety of the king my son afore the pleasure of my 

lord of' Angus; for when I am put from the king. 

my son, he will not be the more set by, and I shall 

not desire to bide in Scotland when I am out of the 

company of the king my son. 

Thus, dearest brother the king, I beseech your 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 327 

grace to look well upon these matters,* and now, 
since they may be brought to a good end, let it not 
be undone for your grace's part, for I assure you 
that the king my son hath great hope in your grace 
and in your help, and especially since he saw your 
grace's writing to liim, and saith on his part he shall 
not fail to take upon him as your grace would that 
he do, you doing to him for your part, and as your 
writing beareth to him ; and for my part I assure 
your grace that I may and will cause him to do 
your counsel afore any other, your grace doing for 
the weal of him and his realm, as my trust is you 
will. And thus it is in your grace's hand, and I 
refer it to the comii^ of my lord of Norfolk, as your 
grace hath bidden me do ; and therefore I can say 
no more. But touching a point that is in your 
grace's said writing, saying that my lord of Anguft 
hath laboured for the peace, and that he will help 
with his authority; as to that, methinks, dearest 
brother the king, methinks that he nor no other 
should be heard in that matter so well as I your 
sister, nor that you may get so much honour to do 
for their request as for me. And therefore I 
beseech your grace that such thing be not in your 
mind, but that it be I that does it, for the love and 
favour that you bear to the king my son and me. 
And if it be through others, I trust I shall not be so 
thankfully taken here. Pray your grace to pardon 
me that I write so plainly to you; but I write 



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328 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

nothing but as your grace will find. I beseech 
your grace to pardon me of my evil hand, for I am 
something not well disposed, and therefore I have 
caused my hand to be copied, in adventure if your 
grace cannot read my evil hand ; and God preserve 
you. Written the 14th day of July. 

Dearest brother, please your grace, touching my 
lord of Angus coming here, I would beseech your 
grace to be well advised in the same, as I have 
written of before ; and as touching to my part, if he 
will put hand to my conjunct fee, "" I will not be con- 
tented therewith, for I have but right sober thing to 
find myself with, and hath shewn your grace that 
divers times, and got but little remedy. Wherefore 
now, an I be troubled with the lord of Angus, it is 
your grace that doth it, and then I. will be con- 
strained to seek other help ; for I will not let him 
trouble me in my living, as he hath done in times 
past. 

Your humble sister, 

Margaret. 

To the high and right excellent prince, my 
dearest brother, the King's grace. 



» Gonjonffe in the original, which is evidently very carelessly- 
written. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 329 



LETTER CXX. 

Anne Countess of Oxford to Cardinal Wolsey, 
jl.d. vers. 1524. 

[cotton. MS. VESPASIAN, F. XIII. ART. 1 15, FOL. 102. Holograph,'^ 

*^* Anne countess of Oxford was the daughter of Thomas second 
duke of Norfolk, by his second wife Agnes Tihiey. Her husband^ 
John de Vere, fourteenth earl of Oxford, usually called Little John ol 
Campes, was of diminutive stature, and alike weak in mind and body. 
The three following letters afford proof of the enej^ with which his 
countess endeayoured to supply his mental deficiencies, and to defend 
him from the encroachments of the executors of his predecessor and 
from thope of his kinsman and heir-presumptive, sir John de Vere, 
who already began to look upon the broad lands of the childless earl as 
his own. Her frequent requests to Wolsey, who was chancellor, in 
reference to the appointment of the officers of her husband's household, 
was occasioned by an arrangement entered into in February 16th, 
1524, between Wolsey, the young earl, and the executors of his father, 
for his regulation, rendered necessary by the habits of dissipated 
extravagance into which he had fallen, ii^urious to his health, his 
estate, and his domestic comfort.* Two copies of this agreement are 
still in existence.'* It is entitled, *^ An order made by the reverend 
father in God Thomas Wolsey, cardinal of England, by direction from 
the king, to limit John earl of Oxford in the ordering of his expenses 
of household and other his affairs in his younger years, as also for his 
demeanour towards the countess his wife, in the fifteenth year of king 
Henry VIII." 

Wolsey directs that the earl, being unable to maintain a great 
house, shall dissolve and break up his household, and go with his wife 
to reside with her father the duke of Norfolk, at such prices for their 
board as the duke and duchess and the friends of the earl of Oxford 
shall agree upon. 

* In Wolsey Correspondence, vol. viii. part i. art 143, is another 
letter from her to Wolsey, thanking him for allowing Mr. Hansard to 
be with her husband, and wishing hito, to be made his surveyor of 
woods. 

»> Hargrave MSS. No. 249, fol. 226 ; and No." 227, fol. 472. 



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330 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

For his good counsel, and that of his wiSt, they are to have the 
servants underwritten, viz. an auditor, surveyor and receiver, chaplain, 
six yeomen, three grooms, three lackeys, and a page; two gentle- 
women and one ehamberer for the cooBteas : all whose names are to be 
sent in by the earl to Wolsey, and they and any future successors of 
them are to be subject to his approval, and the earl is never to admit 
any servant who is not approved by Wolsey. 

The servants are not to belong some to the earl and some to the 
ocnmtess, but to serve each indifferently. 

The eari i» to be moderate in his expenses ** for eschewing the deeay 
of his lands,'' to make no grants or annuities witS&out leave, and not to 
injure his complexion by unwiiolesome meats, hot wines, or sitth^ up 
too late. He is to be moderate in the exercise of hunting, only to use 
it when advised by the saddest and discreetest of his servants, not 
every day. 

** In all other the gestures and behaviourt of the said eari he shall 
use himself honourably, prudently, and sadly, forbearing all riotous 
and wild companies, excessive and superfluous apparel; and namely he 
shall, as to a nobleman appertaineth, lovingly, feuniliarly, and kindly 
entreat and demean himself towards the said countess his wife, as there 
may be perfect love, concord, and unity engendered, nourished, and 
continued between them." He is to listen to no slanderous reports 
against her, but treat her tenderly, as a nobleman should, and in 
general behave himself discreetly and observe the premises ; to which he 
is bound in a penalty of 3000/., and six sureties each in 500 marks, by 
a tripartite indenture, one part of which remains with Wolsey, 
another with the executors of the late earl of Oxford, and another with 
Hie earl himself. 



In my most bounden and humble wise please it 
your grace to be advertised^ that where your gi*ace 
directed your honourable letter to the executors of 
the late earl of Oxford, concerning the delivery of 
the stuff and plate bequeated, I ascertain your 
grace it is delivered since I sent you a letter, with 
much business ere it came to. Nevertheless they 
have not delivered the 100 marks, nor yet more than 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 331 

was bequested ; and they say plainly they can do no 
more than they have done, and they be not eon- 
tented with Sir Robert Drury that he was so ready 
in granting your grace the 100 marks they squared 
with him afore me, and now I find him better than 
tlie remnant in divers causes ; and I desired them to 
have their advice in ordering my lord's house, and 
in other great causes concerning my lord's business, 
and they said they would not meddle, and what that 
diould mean I have great marvel, for they speak 
well afore your grace that they would have been 
glad to give us good counsel, the which should have 
been to my great comfort if they would do so ; and 
if your grace would be so good unto me that I might 
have some wise officer for the ordering of my lord's 
house, I would trust then to have the less need of 
their counsel and advice, but to live as well as we 
may of that we have by your gracious goodness. And 
sorry I am to trouble your great (goodness), if I 
might well otherwise do, considering your great and 
high causes otherways, but I am the more bolder 
considering I have few great friends to trust unto» 
nor cannot do for me as your grace do. Wherefore I 
humbly beseech your grace to pardon me that I am 
so bold to send so often to your grace, for the con- 
tinuance of us must be maintained by your gracious 
help ; as knows our Lord, who ever preserve your 
grace. 

By your assured humble, 

A. Oxford. 

To my lord's grace. 



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8S2 LETTER^ OF ROYAL AND 



LETTER CXXI. 

Anne Countess of Oxford to Cardinal Wolsey. 
A.D. vers. 1524. 

[miscellaneous LETTERSi first series, vol. VI. NO. 91, 8TATB 

PAPER OFFICE. Holoffraph,"] 

My lord, 

In my most humblest wise I recommend me to 
your grace, beseeching your grace to continue my 
singular good lord, as you ever have been. My 
lord, the cause of my writing to you at this time is 
that I had knowledge of late, by Mr. Knigbtley, 
that your grace minded to send to my lord and me 
a wise man to be our steward, which if it please 
your grace to be so gracious to me as to appoint 
such a man, it should be singular pleasure and 
comfort to me ; for it is not thought meet for me to 
do that I do, without the help of some other officers 
than I have. Wherefore, if it will please your 
grace to appoint such a steward as you think meet 
for that room, I will be glad to give him such wages 
as it shall please your grace to command me to pay 
him ; for I had rather have one from yonr grace 
than from any other. For I ascertain your grace 
that I cannot be suffered to say mine advice in no 
causes, and it is thought by many that I may do 
much in my lord's causes ; and if I should meddle in 
any of his causes farther than I do, I perceive that 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 33S 

I should never live in rest: therefore I meddle 
no farther than his household causes. Glad I 
would be that my lord might have such one of his 
servants about him that they might be privy to such 
causes as he hath; and he had need to be sub- 
stantial man, for Mr. Vere, Mr. Gates, Mr. 
Norwich, and Colte, they are the great rulers in 
my lord's causes, and if they would they might do 
much good : for these are they that my lord doth 
put his singular trust in. They have not devised 
for him neither receiver, surveyor, nor auditor, nor 
yet they have not paid the hundred marks to my 
lord that they promised to pay before your grace. 
Wherefore I remit all wholly to your grace, for my 
part trusting that yonr grace will not see that I 
shall bear the reproach to meddle without officers. 
I have spoken with my lord of Norfolk of late ; by 
him I did perceive that the king's grace doth lay 
great wait to have knowledge how that my lord 
doth use himself. Insomuch • that my lord my 
brother did shew me that the king's grace would 
that my lord had some wise men about him ; and I 
perceive well, by my lord my brother, that he 
intendeth to counsel the king's grace to the same at 
his next meeting with him. But I trust all in your 
grace; for the ordering of us, your grace have 
bound me during my life to be at your command- 
ment, and will be to you above all other, as it shall 
be your pleasure to command me, and as true to 
you in heart as to myself, and that you should know 



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334 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

if I might speak with your grace what I hare heard : 
but your wisdom can beware :* your grace do know 
how (I) was wont to speak too much, and sorry lam 
that I am not able to deserve the great goodness and 
quiet life that you have brought me to, but I trndt 
to be. Humbly beseeching your gracious goodness 
to take no displeasure that (I) am so bold to presume 
to write to your grace, but I assure your grace my 
good mind that I do bear to you do constrain me. 
And thus our Lord preserve your grace in hono^ir 
and prosperity. 

Your humble assured, 

A. OXPORB, 



LETTER CXXIL 

Anne Countess of Oxford to Cardinal Wolsey. 
A.D. yers. 1524. 

[WOLSET PAPERS, VOL. VIII. PT. I. NO. 142, STATE PAPER OFFICE. 

Holoffraph,"] 

My lord, 

In my most hearty wise I thank your grace for 
the gracious goodness that you have showed to me, 
as I perceive by my cousin Tilney, for your grace 
hath minded me as effectually as though I were far 
better than I am, whereby your grace binds me ever 
to do as much pleasure to you or any of yours by 

• The words *' of yonr old" have been crossed out. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 335 

your commandment as shall lie in me to do. And 
whereas your grace mindeth that parson Cleydon 
and Mr. Hansard your servant should be with my 
lord — I know not where that two such men should 
have been found so meet as they are ; and look what 
room your grace thinks them most meetest for, I 
shall be content therewith. The parson can very 
good skill of household, and Mr. Hansard to be 
treasurer of my lord's house and receiver of his 
lands^ if your grace think it so meet. And what 
wages your grace will assign them to have for their 
pain, and I shall be content therewith. And where- 
as your grace did direct your letter to my lord for 
the auditor's room, my lord was content, at my de- 
sire, to respite, and so it was ungiven the same 
night Mr. Heneage came, and the next day my lord 
met with the executors ; and so by their counsel my 
lord hath made a grant to Wyseman, as I am in- 
formed, contrary to my mind : but I trust Wyseman 
shall not enjoy it, if I may have any comfort of your 
grace. For the executors shall not deny afore me, 
but that I made them privy what labour was made 
to me by Mr. Heneage for the office, my lord being 
present; and that my answer was, if so be Mr. 
Heneage did obtain your grace's letter to my lord, 
that he should have my good will ; and likewise I 
made Wyseman privy to the same, and my lord was 
content, Wyseman will not have it without my fa- 
vour,^ and he shall not have that. 
• Faire in MS. 



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336 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

My lord, I assure your grace my lord will do 
nothing without the counsel of sir John Vere and 
other that he taketh for his friends, but they give 
him but slender counsel, for they care little for 
his coming forward so the inheritance might be 
saved ; for sir John Vere hath spoken largely to my 
face, as my cousin Tilney can shew your grace. 

My lord, I humbly beseech your grace that these 
men may come shortly, for I trust that they, by 
your grace's comfort, shall redress much of these 
matters. 

And thus Jesus preserve your grace in long pro- 
sperity. 

By your humble assured bead woman, 

A. 0XF0RI>. 
To my Lord Cardinal's grace. 



LETTER CXXIII. 

Elizabeth Duchess of Norfolk to Cardinal Wolsey. 
A.D. vers. 1524. 

[WOLSEY LETTERS, VOL. VIII. PT. I. NO- 114, STATE PAPER 

OFFICE. Original.^ 

\* Elizabeth duchess of Norfolk, the writer of the following and 
sereral other letters in this collection, was the eldest daughter of 
Edward duke of Buckingham, a name celebrated in the courtly annals 
of Henry VIIL 

In youth her troth had been plighted to Ralph Neville, fourth 
carl of Westmoreland, for whom she entertained a strong and 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 3S7 

warmly-retomed attachment. After a courtship of two years the 
Christinas of 1511 was fixed upon for their union ; but meanwhile 
lord Thomas Howard, son and heir of Thomas second duke of Nor- 
folk, who had lately become a widower by the decease of his..£rst wife, 
the lady Anne Flantagenet, daughter of Edward IV., game across thi» 
marriage of true love. He must have been sm^tte^^th the charms of 
the lady Elizabeth Stafford during the life of his' first wife, for she says 
expressly that immediately on her death he sent to the duke of Buck- 
ingham to make suit for her hand. In the Easter of the year 1512 
he paid a visit to the duke ; the father, who was seemingly anxipus to 
secure an alliance so honourable to his house without thwarting the 
affections of his eldest daughter, proposed one of her sisters to the noble 
suitor, but lord Thomas was not so disposed. He accordingly mar- 
ried the lady Elizabeth, and her disappointed lover, the earl of West- 
moreland, comforted himself by a union with her sister Catherine. 
During the twenty-two years in which she lived with her husband the 
duchess bore him five children : two who died young,* Henry earl of 
Surrey, Thomas viscount Bindon, and Mary, married to Henry Fitz- 
roy duke of Richmond, natural son of Henry VIII., and often alluded 
to in her letters as '' my daughter of Richmond.'' 



Sir, 

In my most humblest wise I recommend me to 
your good graca. And where it hath pleased your 
abundant goodness with deserving on my behalf; not 
only to tender my request and petition for Jaques 
Darnell, and -aeeomplish the same, but also all my 
other suits and causes, I neither can nor may in 
my poor powers give thanks accordingly ; but in my 
hearty good will am and shall be ready to do any 
thing that shall stand with your pleasure ; humbly 

* One of these children was a daughter, and seems to have lived 
some years, for in a letter from the duke to lord Monteagle, written 
when he was earl of Surrey, he speaks of negotiating a marriage for 
iStie son of that lord with one of his daughten. Wolsey Correspond* 
denoe, vol. xi. pt. ii. fol. 16, State Paper Office. 

TOL. I. Q 



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338 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

beseeching you so to accept noeand to continue your 
special good grace towards me, the trust whereof 
at this day is to my singular pleasure and comfort. 
And it may farther please you to shew the same in 
my lord's return now out of the north parts, which 
by your gracious assistance and favour I looked for 
at this side Hallowmas ; whereof, as yet, I hear no 
wordl And in remembrance of the same, for lack of 
other good things worthy to present your grace^ I 
send you a couple of does, which I would might be 
as acceptable to your good grace as the thing of 
most dainty in the world, wherec^ your grace should 
be well assured, if it lie in me to give ; as knoweth 
Almighty God, who have your grace in his merciful 
conduct. 

At my lord's manor of Hunsdon, the 4th day of 
November. 

Yours to my power, 

E. Norfolk. 

To my Lord CarcKnal's good grace. 



LETTER CXXIV. 



Margaret Queen of Scotland to the Duke of Norfolk. 
A.D. 1524. 

[cotton. h6. CAiiieuiiA^ &. VI. Foii. S77» Hx^lograph*'] 

*4,* The relative position of Henry YIXI. and queen Margaret wa» 
at this time very peculiar. Each bad an object of their own to ^ain 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES* 339 

wbis^ coold only be aoecmflished bf playing a daositM ptrt widi 
the other. The great desire of the Engliwh king was to establish Eng- 
lish influence in Scotland, and to obtain permission for ambassadors to 
visit ym and settle the terms of a peace. Margaret on the other hand 
was willing to afccede to this, but on condition that Henry shonld de- 
tain her hnsband, tiie earl of Angus, in England, since his return was 
deprecated by her above all tilings. The diplomatic correspondence 
on this siibjeet^ whidi is very lengthy, cnriously details the manoeuvres 
of each party to circumvent the otiier. 



My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you. I am adver- 
tised that you have not answered my lord of Arran* 
that my lord of Angus should (not) come in Scotland 
while I and be be contented therewith ; aad as I 
trust you have understanding by my lord of Arran 
sayiug to you, and since his departing by his writings 
that he cannot be contented that my lord of Ai^us 
come in Scotland while I and he be contented, and 
if other ways be, it will be occasion of evil rule and 
great break in the country. Doubtlessly the friends 
and partakere of my lord of Arran will begin with 
their party the old feud, where it was left ; and as to 
my part, if you suffer him to come in Scotland while 
I and my lord be both so pleased, it will cause me 
to tine (lose) friends that I now have, and enforce I 
must seek another way for myself, seeing that the 
earl of Angus is more set by than I and my par- 
takers. 

Wherefore an you will no nother do (do no other) 
I will seek other ways ; praying you, my lord, be re- 

* Then Margaret's prime minister and.fav<miite. 



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340 le;tters of royal and 

membei'ed that I be excused hereafter^ if the good 
cause that I have begun go aback, and other ways 
taken than will be pleasure to the king's grace my 
brother, by the advice of my lord Dacres, as others 
my unfriends solicit : and to cause the said earl to 
be sent in Scotland against my will, to break and be 
impediment to the matter that is begun ; and also 
considering the great displeasure that he hath done 
to me, as is well known unto Scotland, and doth 
Continue in the same in his good word, by the help 
of the lord Dacres, which cannot love the king's 
grace his master, and wills me evil. And if I will 
seek other ways, I may have helpers that will hold 
the earl of Angus out of Sco'tland : and suppose he 
come in, it will be little to his pleasure. Therefore, 
my lord, since I hold you one of my friends, I pray 
you solicit the king's grace my brother to let not 
the earl of Angus come into Scotland ; and howbeit 
that the lord Dacres inform you that his coming was 
for the good of the king, my son, and me, it is the 
contrary : as it will prove indeed. For the lord 
Dacres doth all things to my displeasure, as now 
and other times by the writings it appears ; and hath 
now devised certain lords to have the guiding of the 
king my son, and no word of me, of the which I 
trust the king's grace my brother will not be con- 
tent. For an it were at that, it would be soon seen 
that they should soon turn to another than I have 
begun, and thinks to keep as long as I am principal 
with the king my son, and that ihe king's grace 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.' 341 

mj brother will shew him kindly to me, as yet his 
grace bath done, whereof I thank him humbly. 
And give answer again what I shall trust to» and 
that you labour not for the promotion of William 
of Douglas, nor no others in Scotland, but by the 
special writings and request of the king my son, and 
me ; and God keep you. 

Written the 13th day of August. 
Yours, 

Margaret R. 



LETTER CXXV. 

Queen Margaret to the Duke of Norfolk, a.d. 1524. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. VI. FOL. 402. Holograph."} 

*^* One of the most powerful agents in establishing the power of 
the'young king was a guard of two hundred men appointed by the queen 
and paid from England. Moreover, it placed in Henry's hands a sort of 
guarantee for the fidelity of his fickle sister, by leaving it at his option 
to inflict a severe and immediate punishment upon her if she thwarted 
his wishes, in withdrawing the stipulated payment for these troops. 
The archbishop of St. Andrew's mentioned in the letter was James 
Beaton, primate of Scotland, who had ever been a warm adherent of 
Albany, and who, by the advice of the English council, had been deprived 
of his office of chancellor and put into confinement.^ But these wily 
diplomatists, wishing to obtain an a^lherent whose character would se- 
cure respect, and whose firmness might be more depended upon than 

» Wolsey to Norfolk, Aug. 9th, 1524. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. II. 
fol. 18. 



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S4t2 LETTEfiS Of AOTAL AND 

jtiiit of tbe erer-chaiigiii( ^pam, wm BmnmnmA to get bim into 
England, that they might these win him over to their side.* 



My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you. And wit you 
that I have spoken with Patrick Sinclair, and he hath 
shewn me a memorial of your hand writ, without 
any writing to me, or Answer of my writing sent by 
him to you ; whereof, my lord, I have marvel, con- 
sidering that I desired your counsel how I should 
rule me on to the time that you got answer from 
the king's grace my brother. Also I sent the said 
Patrick to you, my lord, touching the money that 
the king's grace my brother ordered to the king 
my son, for two hundred men to be about his per- 
son, trusting that he should have speed of the same ; 
which money he hath not gotten. Wherefore I de- 
sire, my lord, to know perfectly if this money shall 
be furnished or not, and thereupon I send this 
bearer to know your mind what we shall trust to ; 
whereof I ptfty you, my lord, let me be advertised. 
I trust the king's grace my brother will not change 
of his good mind toward the king my son, and me, 
1>Qt to help us to bring our matters to a good end. 
Suppose it be costly to his grace, it will be steadable 
hereafter to his grace ; and that this said money may 
be sent with this bearer, to hold the two hundred 

» Wolsey to Norfolk, Aug. 19th, 1524. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. 
fol. 353. Amongst the Miscellaneous Exchequer documents is a letter 
from Magnus to St. Andiew'a <m this subject, with the bishop's reply. 
Id series, No, 2509. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 34S 

men about the king tny son, and these men to be 
chosen as I think best for the surety of the king my 
son^ and not to be chosen by other men's advices- 
Wherefore, my lord, I pray you not to take attention 
to every person that will give you information, but 
specially to me and them that taketh my part, and 
that has begun this matter, and hath borne it forth 
and brought it to so good an end. Wherefore it is 
to be considered, that I shonid know more perfectly 
all matters as they are now than others that maketh 
you information. And for my part, I go no way 
but utterly for the weal and surety of the king my 
son ; and others go for favour of friends, and for 
their own profit, more than for the king my son. 
And therefore, my lord, since I and my partakers 
hath taken this great matter in hand, I pray yon 
do our counsel afore any others private persons, in 
it that pertains to the weal of the king my son ; 
for, an he be not well, our part will be right heavy. 
Also, my lord, where tliat your memorial speak- 
eth that there be lords chosen to do justice, and 
other lords to remain about the king my son's per- 
son ; as to lords to sit upon justice, there i9 a certain 
lord devised to set and minister justice : but to put a 
certain of lords to remain about the king my son*s 
person, it is good to be well advised thereupon. For to 
say that we are assured of any lords in special but my 
lord of Arran and my lord Maxwell, and their 
friends, we are not : and therefore they are not to 
give great trust to, nor to remain about his person. 



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344 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

nor shall not, as far as I may. And therefore me- 
thinks that such matters should be referred to me 
and my partakers. 

Also, my lord, touching the bishop of Saint 
Andrew's, where you say that it were good to let 
him be one of the ambassadors to come in England, 
I marvel that you think that ; considering that we 
• have put so sharply to him as we have done, and 
that in time past he was ever in my contrary ; and 
DOW, an he might be at his liberty, would be far 
more contrary me, and put the king my son in 
^reat ayenture. Wherefore, my lord, I pray you 
consider all thing as it is, and if that we may find 
the said bishop of Saint Andrew's by any way to be 
true to us, we had rather have him than any other ; 
but as yet I cannot perceive it. Therefore we must 
do as we find best for us ; trusting that the king's 
grace my brother will supply us, and not let us 
want help. 

And as to the money that his grace has given to 
furnish two hundred men, I assure you, my lord, 
it hath done great good to the king my son, and 
hath letted (hindered) much evil to be done, and it 
is not as yet a month since it began. Wherefore E 
trust his grace will not so soon give command in 
the contrary. And where that the said money is 
spent before the month, it is to be considered that at 
that time the expenses would be. greater than ne 
another time, for we had great matters ado; but 
that may be holden in again, as we think needful. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 345 

And thus, my lord^ ItruiBt you will send the money 
with this bearer, and I shall cause it to be well 
ordered to the weal and surety of the king my soi 
And God have you in his keeping. 

Written this Tuesday at Edinborough. 
Yours, 

Maroabkt R. 

My lord, — ^Touching my lord of Ang^s, I pray you 
to keep promise to me, for I trust the king's grace 
my brother will not fail in it that he hath promised 
me ; but as yet I hear say the earl of Angus is not 
past hope to the court : whereof I marvel. 



LETTER CXXVL 
Queen Margaret to the Duke of Norfolk, a.d. 1524. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. VI. POL. 404. Holograph,'] 

\* The Scottish correspondence about this period is remark- 
ably full and interesting : scarcely a day elapsed in which letters 
were] not poured forth with equal rapidity and earnestness by 
the different 'parties, and queen Margaret's ever busy pen was 
busier than usual. The despatches of William Hals to tiie duke 
of Norfolk, and of GonzoUes, the agent of Albany, to his master, 
which were probably intercepted in England, contain many curious 
details, especially as to' the private movements of the queen, which, 
would be out of place here. The great point of debate was the 
return of the earl of Angus. As early as ^the Slst of August he had 
advanced to Newcastle-on-Tyne on his way to Scotland, when he was 
requested not to proceed on account of the queen's vehement opposi- 
tion ; whereupon he immediately returned to the English court, to 

q2 



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346 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

renew his BoKcitatUmi for penuinoa to go.* Henry was equally 
anxious with the earl himself, because he expected to find in him a 
warm advocate of the English interests ; but he feared, and not without 
CBBse, that should Angus return before the new order of tilings was 
fully established Margaret would vndo what she had done, and with 
the earl of Arran, her principal councillor, throw herself again into 
the arms of Albany^ and the French, who spared no pains hnd pro- 
mises to allure them.<^ Matters wexe in this dubious position when 
queen Margaret wrote the present letter. 



My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you. Wit you that I 
have received your writing, with other writings, from 
the king's grace my brother and my lord cardinal, 
of which writings I have made answer to every 
point; and as to any thing that I may do to the 
pleasure of the king my brother, his 'grace shall 
find me of good mind to the same, trusting firmly on 
his part that he will make us such cause, and not 
to do the thing that may be our hurt, for that will 
not be neither honour nor profit to his grace : pray- 
ing you heartily, my lord, that you will hear at 
length Carlisle herald, in shewing you such things 
as I have commanded him. For, since his being 
here, he understands the manner of all things as they 
are now. And that you will inform the king's 
grace my brother of the same, and my lord car- 

> Lord Dacres to Wolsey, Aug. 3l8t, 1534. Walsey Correspon- 
c|jBnce» vol. xv. art. 18, St»te Paper Office. 

b Wolsey to Norfolk, Sept 15th, 1524. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. 
fol. 345. 

« Francis L to Jvsm V. and quoen Mafgaret^ Sept. 15th, 1524. 
Ibid. fol. 4U. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 347 

dinal, and that I may have answer again in all 
haste ; for, while then, I trust the ambassadors will 
not enter within England, nor nothing be through 
ended. And so it is in the king's grace my bro- 
ther's hand to have all matters at his pleasure. I 
think his grace should not overlook the same for 
the pleasure of my lord of Angus, for any profit that 
he will get by the same. And as to my part, an 
his desires be more regarded than mine, I will not 
labour no more to the pleasure of the king my 
brother, but look the best way I may for myself. 
And, if it be the king's grace's pleasure to send in 
the earl of Angus, yet he cannot cause me to favour 
him, nor to let him be in my company. And there- 
fore in so far his grace so doing, doeth greatly to 
my dishonour and displeasure, which I trust I have 
not deserved. Therefore I can say no more, but I 
trust his grace will have consideration on me, his 
sister^ and do it that may be for the weal of the king 
my son. And in this behalf I desire to be assured of 
the king's grace what I shall trust to, and not daily 
to make mention^ of his coming. Herefore I as- 
sure you, my lord, an any other in the world do me 
that displeasure, they shall want my heart. And as 
to your part, my lord, I am greatly beholden to you, 
both of your good mind and deed, which if ever I 
may quit (repay) you shall find the same ; praying 
you, my lord, as my great trust is in you, that you 
will labour in this matter for me, and to make me 
sure of that above written. 

» Mynttys in orig. 



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348 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Also, my lord, touching the coaduct that the 
king's grace my brother hath written for, it shall 
be gotten incontinent ; but I have holden the same 
bearer . while the bishop of Dunkeld came, for 
to bring answer again from the said bishop of all 
things at length, (who) will be here incontinent ; and 
I have delivered this bearer, that I may have hasty 
answer of the said writings from the king*s grace. 
For I assure you, my lord, that my partakers will 
not suffer the ambassadors to be sped away while that 
answer come from the king my brother, as my lord 
of Arran hath written in that behalf to his grace, and 
in a part to yourself. Wherefore I pray you, my 
lord, make hasty expedition for the furthering of all 
matters. 

Also, my lord, I have sent you a hawk, the 
which I trust you shall be right well contented 
with, and .you shall have others within short time. 
My lord of Arran hath sent another hawk to yoa 
with the said bearer: wherefore I pray you take 
well with him. And God have you in his keeping. 

My lord, in my lord cardinal's writings he saith 
that master Thomas Magnus and the tother gentle- 
man should not enter in Scotland until our ambas- 
sadors entered in England ; and therefore the said 
conduct needs, not to be hasted, until we send for 
a conduct to our ambassadors. 

Written the 6th day of October. 
Yours, . 

Margaret R. 

To my lord of Norfolk. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. ^ 349 

LETTER CXXVII. 

Queen Margaret to the Duke of Norfolk, a.d. 1524. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 266. Ort^tfMf/.] 

My lord, 

I commend me heartily to you, and has under- 
stood your writings delivered to me by William 
Hals, your servant, together with his credence 
thereby shewn to me in your name, purporting that 
agreance and amity to be treated betwixt me and 
my lord of Angus was good and necessary to the 
weal of the king my son, me, and this his realm ; 
and that the king's grace my brother may not law- 
fully detain the said earl in England, as is, with 
others divers persuasions and sharp reports to that 
effect, to the apparent pleasure of the said earl, in 
your said writings and credence aforesaid rehearsed* 

My lord, as to the weal of the king my son, I 
am so desirous thereof that if I believed the said 
agreance was necessary thereto, I would not only 
(discharging the many divers displeasures done to 
me by the said earl), accomplish the same, but also 
therewith — as naturally by tender entire motherly 
affection I am constrained — would procure and do 
whatsoever other things to me possibly believed,* to 
the surety and weal of the king my best beloved only . 
son : whose prosperity, is, above all other earthly 
thing, to me most acceptable comfort, consolation, 

» Belewit in orig. 



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360 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

and pleasure ; in such manner that, secluding and 
removing all others my private desires and plea- 
sures, I will thereunto expend myself to the utter- 
most and extermining of my life, without any dread 
or fear of the same. But I firmly know that the 
said desired i^eance, colour of amity, and thereby 
coming of the said earl in this realm, should rather 
be to the king my son's great apparent damage, 
making of break and trouble within this his realm, 
contrary to his erection, reducing of his person from 
liberty to captivity and thraldom of his mortal 
enemies, from perfect surety to apparent imminent 
danger and destruction, and consequently amoving 
of me, not only from my authority and rule which I 
now have, but also secluding of me from the keep- 
ing, presence, and company of my dearest son's per- 
son, and therewith impediment to all other things 
BOW well devised and banning for the weal of both 
these realms, as I have amply shewn by the last 
articles Sent by me to my lord cardinal. And it 
is here thought that the king^s grace my brother not 
only may detain lawfully the said earl, but also 
should by reasonable occasions and causes do the 
same, considering it is the desire of his dearest 
nephew, for the weal and surety of his person, corro- 
boration of this his erection and authority, eschewing 
of many divers apparent inconveniences, and neces- 
sary to the combination, unity, and pacifying of 
these two realms and common weal of the same ; 
which should by all reason be more esteemed than 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 351 

the particular pleasure of the said earl, or whatso- 
ever other private person. And albeit I may not 
cause nor persuade the king's grace my brother 
to do herein otherwise than is his grace's pleasure, 
my lord, you shall hereafter by experience indeed 
understand and see, that upon the non- detaining 
of the said earl shall follow great inconveniences, as 
I have written in the said articles : and for my part 
I will in no manner way consent to the said earl's 
coming, for the causes foresaid. And I must in 
contrary thereof, to the weal and surety of the king 
my son and me, purchase such friends as I may get, 
and do the best I may therein. Thinking that if the 
king's grace my brother, by private solicitation, 
esteems more the particular pleasure of the said earl 
than the surety and weal of his nephew the king my 
son, me and pacifying of these two realms, we must 
on forth (henceforth) do for our own weal and sure- 
ties, and provide for other support and remedy in 
such behalf as I doubt shall not be to the pleasure 
of the king's grace. And, my lord, you shall surely 
believe it is not for no particular displeasure I bear 
to the said earl that I so expressly write to you, but 
only to advertise you of the matter as hereafter will 
ensue and follow, through non-detaining of him. 
For I know his coming at liberty in this realm shall 
turn nor redound to no prosperous success nor good 
fine (end), but therewith to the displeasure of the 
said earl and his. Praying you, my lord, to consider 
this matter, and do your good will and diligence 



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352 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

bereiiii to the weal and surety of the king my son, 
me, and common weal of these two realms, so that 
the particular pleasure of any private person be not 
impediment nor prejudicial thereto. And if there 
be any thing you desire in these parts, I shall to your 
pleasure and desire reasonably fulfil the same, will 
God ; who have you in his blessed keeping. 

Subscribed with my hand at Edinburgh, the 18th 
day of this October. 

My lord, I have provided to you two good hawks, 

which I shall cause to be at you with all goodly 

diligence. 

Yours, 

Margaret R. 

To my lord of Norfolk. 



LETTER CXXVIII. 

Queen Margaret to King Henry VIII. a.d. 1624. 
[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 228. Holograph.'] 

*^* A truce having been concluded for three months with England, 
Henry V III. sent two ambassadors, Dr. Magtius and Roger Ratcliffe, 
usher of his privy chamber, over to Scotland, ** the one to give good 
and wholesome advice, in plain and secret manner, to the queen, and 
the other pleasantly to handle himself to the king.''* When they 
arrived they had a long private audience with the queen, and found 
her " pleasantly disposed," repenting of her rash declaration that if 

a Wolsey to Norfolk, September 15, 1524. Cotton. MS. Caligula, 
B. VI. fol. 345. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 353 

AngoB were admitted no ambassador should be allowed to go to 
England, and were proceeding amicably in their conference^when " one 
came suddenly knocking at the chamber-door, saying, he must speak 
with her grace in all haste, and so he did ; and as it appeared by her 
countenance, and as it was of a truth, the hasty tidings were that the 
earl of Angus was come into Scotland." By many arguments and 
persuasions the ambassadors, however, induced the queen to promise to 
try to bring about an accommodation between Arran and Angus, 
though she could not herself so far forget her displeasure as to hold 
any intercourse with him.* In this fiiTourable mood they left her, but 
the following day, when they had another interview, they found the 
queen entirely changed, " and that in manner she did clearly go from 
every thing that her grace did agree unto the day and night afore." 
This change they attribute to the counsel of *' one Harry Steward, a 
young man about her grace, which keepeth, as is said, all her seals, 
and ordereth all causes, in such a manner as is without any other 
counsel, either of wisdom, honour, or reputation.''** This Harry 
Stewart was afterwards Margaret's third husband, and an incipient and 
discreditable attachment to him was one of the causes that rendered 
her so averse to the return of the earl of Angus. It was in this mood 
that the queen wrote the following letter to her brother. 



Dearest brother the king. 

In my most humblest wise I can I recommend 
me to your grace : and please you to wit that I have 

» Magnus and RatcKffe to Wolsey, Nov. 2, 1524. Cotton. MS. 
CaliguU, B. VI. fol. 341. 

^ Magnus and Ratcliffe to Wolsey, Nov. 3, 1524. Wolsey Cor- 
respondence, vol. viii. part i. art. 20. Although this letter was sent 
enclosed in the one of the previous day, yet so completely has the 
Scottish correspondence of the period been broken up, that it is now 
separated from it and placed in a totally different receptacle. It is 
only by collecting and digesting into chronological order the records of 
the Cottonian collection, the State Paper Office, and the Chapter- 
house (which last have again been distributed, and are now deposited, 
some in the Rolls-house and some in the State Paper Office, while 
sOme stiH remain in the Chapter-house), that a fiill comprehension of 
the negotiations can be formed. 



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354 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

^spoken with your servants, Toaster Magnus and 
master Hadcliff, whom bath shewn me your mind 
and pleasure at length, and bath delivered me a 
piece of cloth of gold right rich, whereof humbly I 
thank your grace; and specially of your remem- 
brance toward me, with the money that your 
grace causeth to be answered every month for the 
men that are about the king my son's person : which 
is right needful, and hath done much good to the 
king my son, as I have written divers times, and as 
.your servants here may inform your grace, as I trust 
they do. 

Dearest brother, it will please your grace to re^ 
member how long I have laboured at your hand for 
to have good peace and love betwixt these two 
realms; and now, thanked be God, it is likely to 
come to a good end. For this realm desireth in 
special to have assured way of England, as at more 
length your grace will understand by our ambas- 
sadors, whom is the first that ever was by me sent ; 
therefore I trust your grace will shew you the more 
loving. And because I your sister doth labour in 
that matter, suppose that any thing that touch me 
is not well heard with your grace by them that 
loveth me not, nor credence given to my writing, 
as well appeareth now by the sending in of the earl 
of Angus, in contrary my mind and will, and in the 
contrary of my request and the king my son's; 
which I think right unkindly, seeing that at my 
power I did for the pleasure of your grace, as is well 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 355 

understood ivith all this realm. And yet, setting 
apart my request, I think your grace should not 
have giren me occasion to break this realm, nor to 
put the king my son in danger of his person, as he 
hath been now lately through the said earl of 
Angus coming in the manner as he came within the 
night, as I wit well your grace will be informed of 
the truth. But to my part I will say no more of 
that or little other thing where that I get no cre- 
dence, but them that loyeth me not shall be heard 
before me, and get their desires. Wherefore I will 
take patience, and do the best I may to keep me 
from my unfriends ; and if I may not keep me here, 
but that my unfriends shall have help and assistance 
against me, then I must provide for myself, be- 
seeching your grace to remember that I have not 
faulted to your grace, but hath followed your mind 
in all matters as far as I may. 

And now this realm may understand that your 
grace hath sent in the earl of Angus to do me dis- 
pleasure, and to hold me in trouble daily, where I 
would not have been troubled ; but with the grace 
of God I shall put it off. Not the less it is right 
unkindly that your grace (hath) done this to me 
your sister, and to cause this realm to believe the 
less favour and kindness in your grace, but you may 
do to me your sister as it pleaseth you. 

Also, dearest brother the king, if it be your 
grace's mind and pleasure to have good ways be- 
twixt your said realm and this, I beseech your grace 



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356 LETTERS OP ROYAL AND 

hambly to shew it now into deed, and to make 
surety of it that your grace will do to llie king my 
son and his realm ; or else it will be thought here 
that I haye done this to put off the time, and to 
cause the king my son to tine (lose) his friends and 
allies, which will be laid to my charge. Therefore, 
I beseech your grace that I may know your plea- 
sure the soonest that you may goodly (conveni- 
ently), that thereafter I may order me ; and please 
your grace to give me be advertised : and God pre- 
serve you. Written the 7th day of November. 
Your humble sister, 

Margaret. 

To the right excellent, right high, and 
mighty prince and our dearest brother, the 
King of England. 



LETTER CXXIX. 

Queen Margaret to Cardinal Wolsey. a.d. 1524. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. I. FOL. 254. Ort^tfia/.] 

*i^ The enMe of the earl of Angus had been followed by much 
civil discord, and even strife,^ owing to the utter aversion of the queen 
and Arran to a reconciliation with him. The queen was in great 
trouble and perplexity. Her government and that of the earl of 
Arran had sunk into general contempt.^ The friends of Angus were 
numerous and powerful, and she was well aware that he would receive 

* Magnus and RatclifFe to Wolsey, Nov. 26, 1524. Ck>tton. MS. 
CaUg. B. I. fol. 121. 

b George DougLis to Norfolk, Oct. 24, 1524. Ibid. B. III. fol. 76. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 357 

aid from England. Under these circumstances she resolved to send 
the long-delayed ambassadors,* who were all men opposed to the 
Angus faction,^ and thus to make a last effort to conciliate and obtain 
aid from her brother, which' she solicits in the following letter, second- 
mg her petitions by no obscure intimations of her intention to throw 
herself completely into the arms of the French party, if even she did 
not retire to France, in case her application proved unsuccessful. 



My lord cardinal, 

I commend me heartily to you. And wit you 
that I have done my diligence to cause our am- 
bassadors to pass in England, which are now to 
come incontinent, upon such points and directions 
as are given to them by the king my son, by me, 
and by the lords of three estates in parliament, as at 
more length master Magnus (and) master RatclifP 
can shew you. 

Wherefore now, seeing it is brought to this 
point, and that I have done my duty in that behalf, 
I pray you, my lord, in my most hearty manner, to 
cause our said ambassadors to be well and honour- 
ably treated, and that you will get them audience of 
the king's grace my brother, and that you will help 
to bring their matters to a good end, so that there 
may be sure love and amity betwixt these two 
realms ; considering so near as they are of blood, 
and that I am the labourer betwixt them. To write 
to you, my lord, the manner at length, I need not, 
for you will know it by the commission of our am- 

» Then: safe-conduct is dated Nov. 27, 1524. Cotton. MS. Calig. 
B. VII. fol. 50. 

»» Angus to Henry VIII. Nov. 28, 1524. Ibid. B. I. fol. 96. 



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358 LETTERS OF ROTAL AND 

bassadors^ and aa I have written in articles to the 
king's grace my brother at length. 

My lord, I pray you heartily to put to your 
hand in these matters, in such a sort that the king 
my brother and I may have honour and profit, and 
pleasure to the king my son ; for now is the time. 
And remember what pain and labour I have had, 
with displeasure, in labouring these matt<^Fs; not 
the less I think my pain well wared (spent), so 
that I may bring these matters to good end* Pray- 
ing you heartily, my lord, to remember how it will 
be pleasing to God to have good peace and concord, 
and the great honour that will redound to the king's 
grace my brother, seeing that the king's grace my 
son is young. Also, my lord, I assure (you), that 
the king my son and this realm will be right glad to 
have good peace betwixt your realm and this, and 
will be contented to leave other realms, so that the 
king my brother will be contented of such points aft 
is contained in my articles; which purpose the lords 
are firmly at ; and all so far as I may labour and 
solicit, there shall be no fault in me. 

My lord, I pray you remember how at what 
nearness of blood these two kings are, and so that 
you may advise a sure way (to) be among them, it 
will be surer than any other realms ; which were 
greatest pleasure and comfort to me that might be, 
to have the king's grace my brother and the king 
my son at one way. 

Also, my lord, you shall understand that this 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 359 

ireajm is in trouble at this time, where it would not 
have been, as I did adyertise the king's grace my 
brother, and you, my lord, divers times by my 
writing : nevertheless it has not been regarded ; 
which I think unkindly, seeing the good cause I 
make, and has made, to the king's grace my brother, 
as is well known in this realm ; wherethrough I am 
holden suspected with the lords of this realm in ona 
part. And if you remember, my lord, I did all 
that I have done with the advice and counsel of the 
king's grace my brother and yours, and aye, as th€^ 
great matters occurred, I advertised his grace and 
you ; not doing nothing bat with your advice, as I 
have your writings to shew. Wherefore, seeing 
this, there is many that marvels that his grace quits 
me in this sort, to send in the earl of Angus con- 
trary the king my son's request and rnine^ where-* 
through now the realm is broken^ as I advertised it 
would be oft before: suppose I got no credence^ 
thinking it has been but for my will, and not for thet 
weal of the king my son and bis realm. Wherefore 
I see well, the trust is little that I get with tbct 
king's grace my brother and his council, and not in 
my defftult. But methinks, for no evil to me, the 
king my son and his realm should be troubled; he 
making no evil cause.. 

But since it is thus I will take patience of bis 
grace, but I must do the best I may to keep me 
from my unfriends ; and if I may not keep me here, 
but that they will get assistance contrary me, I must 



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360 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

on force make of my foes friends, for I love my life 
all so well as any others do theirs. And then his 
grace will understand what part I have kept to his 
grace, and I will be the more excused of all this 
realm to do for myself, seeing where I might have 
been in honour and ease, and the king my son and 
his realm in peace and concord, where^now it is the 
contrary, and done by his grace, that should (have) 
been my defender. Therefore, my lord, I pray you 
consider how I am done to, and how that daily the 
earl of Angus sets for me to take me from my son 
the king: wherefore I marvel what pleasure it 
may be to the king's grace my brother to hold me 
daily in trouble. ' And in your hands, God willing, 
I shajl never come with my will, not an I should 
leave this realm. For, when any other princes un- 
derstands how I am done to, they will have pity of 
me. I can say no more ; but now I have done the 
best I can to have good and loving ways betwixt these 
two realms, and thereupon has sent the ambassadors. 
And now it is in the king's grace my brother's hands 
and yours to do as you please, trusting that his 
grace and you will do for the king my son and his 
realm ; and that you will, my lord, do so much for 
me to send me the king's pleasure in every behalf, 
the soonest you may, and as my great trust is in you. 
Written the 28th day of November. 
Yours, 

Margaret R. 

To my Lord Cardinal. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S6l 

LETTER CXXX. 

Queen Margaret to the Scottish Lords, a.d. 1625. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. III. FOL. 104.] 

%* The factions whieh rent the peace of Scotland continued, and 
increased in animosity. To give any thing like a minute detail of the 
proceedings that led to the circumstances under which the present 
letter was penned would be to insert an elaborate history of Scotland 
for that period. Suffice it to say, that so yehement was the dis- 
content excited by Margaret's proceedings, especially her mode of 
treating the young king, whom the opposite party affirmed she shut 
up in unwholesome air, and in fact kept him almost a prisoner, *■ that the 
strife reached even the capital. The party of Angus occupied £din> 
burgh ; the queen was with the young king in the castle, the guns of 
which she threatened to fire upon the town.** The opposing party in 
return besieged her in her stronghold ; and as she was ill stored with 
provisions, and not prepared for a defence, she was compelled to come 
to terms. The offers made to her by the lords are in substance con- 
tained in this letter, which is her reply. <^ The headstrong queen, 
having rejected all the humble supplications of Angus for favour, 
having previously returned his letters unopened, <* was now obliged to 
consent to a concord with him when he had just besieged her in her 
own palace* 



My lord of Saint Andrew's, Aberdeen, earl of 
Argyle, with the rest of the lords there with you. 

Know you I have written to you when you were 
in Dalkeith in this wise, that is to say, if that you, 
my lords above written, would that I agree with my 

*■ Declaration of the Scottish lords, Jan. 5, 1525. Cotton. MS. 
Cal. B. VI. fol. 394. 

^ Lesley, de rebus Scoticis, p. 415. 

c They are given at full in Cotton. MS. Calig; B. III. fol. 102. 

<» See Angus' letter to Margaret, Nov. 1, 1524. Cotton. MS. 
Calig. B. VI. fol. 371 ; to Wolsey, Nov. 28, ibid. B. I. fol. 94 ; to 
Henry VIII., Jan. 8, 1825, ibid. fol. 91. 

VOL. I, B 



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362 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

lord of Angus, I desire that I should not 4)e hurt in 
the authority that was given me by you, and (the) 
three estates, with the keeping of the king my 8on*s 
person, which as yet I desire of you, my lords : all 
yon, my lords, making me in surety of this, shall 
use your counsel as folio weth. 

First, I desire that I may have the keeping of 
the king my son's person, and I am content that 
there be noblemen about his grace's person as the 
lords thinketh best, so it be done with mine advice 
and counsel, because I am his dearest mother, and 
would his person most good of earthly thing. 

Secondly, as touching the benefices, I desire 
that I be principal in the disposition of the same, 
with the advice of the lords that are most noble, 
chosen or to be chosen, concerning high benefices, 
as bishopricks and abbacies, and all dignities above 
a thousand pounds by year ; and that all other bene- 
fices be at my disposition, without any restriction. 

Thirdly, touching wards, marriages, and reliefs, 
with other the king's casualties, to be disposed by 
me principally, with the advice of the lords chosen, 
and to be chosen in parliament, to the king's utility 
and profit. 

Fourthly, touching all great matters between 
realm and realm for treating of peace and disposition 
of great ofiScers, as chancellor, treasurer, comptroller, 
with all other officers to be put about the king my 
son^s person, that I be principal with the counsel of 
the lords. These things above written being assured 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 363 

'by the act of parliament to be made now instantly ; 
I being assured by a pledge competent, with all 
their writing, that the said pledge shall bide with 
me unto the same be fulfilled in every point, I shall 
be content to take my said lord of Angus in the 
king my son's favour and mine, and to intreat him 
as I ought to do to mine honour and his ; he doing 
for his part as I shall desire of him, which shall be 
nothing but reason; and that I may live in good rest 
and peace to mine honour, seeing that I am content 
to do my lord of Angus honour and favour. And, 
farther, give credence to doctor Magnus and the 
bearer, with answ;er in writing. 

Headed, <'Copy of the Queen of Scott's 
letter, written with hor own hand, sent to the 
lords," 



LETTER CXXXI. 
Queen Margaret to Henry VIII. a.d. 1525. 

[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B. VII. FOL. 65.] 

*;,(* The flames of discord between queen Margaret and her 
husband had burnt too long and too fiercely to be suddenly ex- 
tinguished by the hollow pacification into which they had lately en- 
tered. Margaret, yielding to a blind passion for her youthful lover 
Henry Stewart, was actively suing for a divorce. On the 29th of 
March, Angus wrote to Wolsey,* tjianking him for the trouble the 
king had taken in writing letters, sharply worded, to the queen, ** be- 
lieving, after sight thereof, she shall stand better minded to me nor 
she did ;" but regretting that his pains had been entirely ineffectual. 

« Cotton. MS. Calig. B. VI. fol. 431. 



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364 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

Henry's exhortetioiis to Angus to desist, for a short time at least, 
from intermeddling witli the queen's lands till he had tried to make an 
amicable arrangement with her,^ seem to have been equally fruitless ; 
for the husband's authority, which he chose to exert over her re- 
venues, whilst he possessed no such place in her house or affections, was 
extremely galling to the queen. At the same time she put on the sem- 
blance of external courtesy, and even promised to restore him to 
ftftyour,!* to induce him to consent to the divorce. <^ ** The queen's 
grace," said Magnus, in a letter to WolBey,<* ** entertaineth the earl 
of Angus with good countenance and familiar communication, but 
continually her grace procureth the said earl, by all the ways and 
means she can, to a divorce, and at all times consisteth upon the 
same opinion, requiring the said earl, as well by messengers as by 
herself at their meeting, neither to make the king's highness privy 
thereunto, your said grace, nor me. This knowledge I have by the 
said earl of Angus. I am right sorry to write or mention any thing 
against the queen's grace here ; but of truth I have not found the 
queen's said grace favourable and lovingly disposed, and inclined neither 
to the realm of England, to the king's highness, nor to us his ser- 
vants, imless it were when her grace required, or was in trust to 
have money." 



Dearest brother the king. 

In my most humble wise I recommeDd me to 
your grace. Please you to wit I received, by the 
hands of master Magnus your servant, one writing 
dated the 23d day of March, which writing is right 
sour and sharp, considering that I have not de- 
served the same, but at my utter power did in all 
thing that I might to your grace ; the which I be- 
seech your grace humbly to call to your remem- 

* Angus to Wolsey, March 8, 1525. Cotton. MS. Calig. B. I. 
fol. 98. 

«» Magnus to Wolsey. Ibid. B. II. fol. 59, Feb. 22, 1525. 

« The same to the same, April 19, 1525. Ibid. B. VII. fol. 61. 

<i Cotton MS. Calig. B. II. fol. 55, date March 9, 1525. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 365 

brance^ and not to give credence to other persons 
that loves me not, nor yet the weal of the king my 
son. 

And, also, I beseech your grace to consider I 
took a great matter on hand at your desire and 
commandment, with diligent labours, that I make 
continual at your grace's desire and pleasure ; and 
utterly other* friends will I regard little to their 
pleasure and favour. Notwithstanding your grace's 
sharp writing now last sent, I shall keep a good 
part to your grace, beseeching your grace to take 
my good mind and deed as it is, and to remember 
what trouble I have had and has for your sake ; and 
how the duke of Albany, at his first coming, put me 
from my two sons, and then I was fain to leave this 
realm : secondly, he put me from my sou, after I 
was made, by the advice of him and in parliament, 
to remain with his person, and thought to have put 
me forth of Scotland, and always for your grace's 
sake. And then the duke had great suspicion that 
I favoured your ways and pleasure ; and now, when 
I have made the duke plainly to understand that I 
do your pleasure in contrary him all utterly, where- 
through I know (I) have lost him, yet your grace 
will not have consideration thereof, but takes more 
tent (heed) to missive bills than to me your sister : 
which I think right heavy, I doing so great an act 
in contrary the said duke as I did now, which all 
Scotland durst not do, nor have taken it upon hand, 

■ Atour in MS. 

r2 



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366 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

the which was both right great travail and cost 
tome. 

This being well considered, methinks it is to be 
remembered, and sufficiently acquitted by good part 
and assistance to me. For in the first, by my most 
diligent labour, having remembrance of your grace 
and it that might be pleasing to you, I giving the 
aventure to open such a weighty matter and ....,* 
which matter, an it had been refused and advertised 
to the governor, it would have been made relevant 
to have destroyed me, as would have been surely 
followed. 

Secondly, I caused the king my son to claim 
his own authority personally at his lords, and barons, 
and three estates, all being assembled together in his 
presence ; the which being at that point they durst 
not deny, but wholly consent to the same. Al80> I 
desired to have the office of royal majesty to be as- 
signed to me while the king my son's lawful age, to 
the effect that this realm should not be desolate of 
an immediate person to be their head, together with 
the keeping of the king my son's person. And to 
this effect, and by these reasons, the governor was 
not necessary to be in this realm. And, also, I 
caused a lawful parliament to be proclaimed, and at 
the said parliament caused the governor to be dis- 
charged of his office for the king my son's lifetime. 

*■ Blank in MS., probably because the copyist from whose tran- 
script this letter is printed was unable to make out the word in the 
original ** evil hand'' of queen Margaret. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 367 

And all this being solicited by me, and no other, for 
the pleasure of your grace, trusting thereby to have 
won your grace's special love and favours ; which, 
as methinks now, is the contrary. 

And, also, an it please your grace, your servant 
master Magnus can show your grace how the French 
king's ambassador that came last was retreated 
(made to retreat). And this I beseech your grace 
to remember upon me as this requires; and if your 
grace will not be good and kind prince and brother 
to me, as I think I have deserved, then I beseech 
your grace not to do me evil, nor to cause my lord 
of Angus to trouble me in my living nor my person, 
both for your grace's honour and because I am the 
king's mother and your sister. And your grace not 
being in my contrary, I trust surely there dare no 
baron in this realm do me any utter displeasure, for 
dread of it that may follow hereafter at the king my 
son's hand. And it is not unknown that I have the 
earl of Angus under summons by the pope's exe- 
cutorials, and the plea depending, and so by that 
reason he may not intermeddle with me by the law ; 
and by right and reason I trust there be no no- 
bleman of this realm will do me openly displeasure, 
so long as the king my son lives. Beseeching also 
your grace that you will stand a kind brother to me, 
and at my utter power I shall deserve it, and do that 
I can to your pleasure, not sparing for nobody's dis- 
pleasure ; so that your grace will consider it, and 
not to reward me with unkindness and displeasure 
for my good mind and deed, and them that loves me 



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368 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

not to be heard before me, as I perceive your grace 
does by your last writing sent to me ; which report, 
as I answer to God, is right untrue, as shall prove in- 
to deed. Beseeching your grace to let me be ad- 
vertised of your pleasure in haste, and God preserve 
your grace. 

Endorsed by Magnus, ** Copy of the Queen of 
Scott's letter addressed to the king's highness, 
dated a good time past.'' 



LETTER CXXXH. 

Queen Margaret to Dr. Magnus, a.d, 1525. 
[cotton. MS. CALIGULA, B, vii. FOL. 107. Orifftnal.} 

Right trusty and well-beloved friend, 

We commend us to you in our hearty manner. 
We have received your writing dated at Berwick 
the eighteenth day of November, mentioning in the 
first the commendations from our good nephew the 
duke of Richmond and Somerset,* whereof we in 
our most tender manner thanks our said cousin. 
We desire you aflfectionately to have us recom- 
mended unto him as we that shall entertain our du- 
tiful kindness, as natural affection, aright towards 
him, as we that is right glad of his good prosperity, 
praying God the same continue. 

Secondly, .where your writing reports that, by 
commandment of the king's highness our dearest 

* Henry Fitzroy, natural son of Henry VIII. 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. 369 

brother, you remained with our cousin of Richmond 
since your departing last of this realm. And at this 
convention last affixed at Berwick you were autho- 
rised to make, commune, and conclude in all such 
things as should tend for the firm entertaining of 
assured good love and amity^ as nature requireth, 
with continual peace to be had betwixt them, their 
realms, and subjects, most valuable for the same ; 
to which there can no prince be better inclined than 
is our dearest brother, for the tender zeal and hearty 
affection he bears unto the king our dearest son, — we 
believe none of your estate more convenient to 
commune in such affairs. And now is the most 
special time that the king our brother's good mind 
may be made patent (open) to our dearest son, as 
after the good addresment (adjustment) of that your 
borderers and your commissioners concludes. In 
fortifications of the which we pray you most af- 
fectionately, and the rather for our comfort and con- 
solation, and for the perseverance of love and amity 
betwixt both the realms. 

Thirdly, concerning our knowledge of the 
letters sent by our dearest brother to the king our 
dearest son, we study (marvel) greatly thereof. In 
them appears small affections for our sake. It is 
not little strange to the king our dearest son and his 
council that our dearest brother the king had, and 
presently has, so great regard of my lord Angus' 
prosperity, when we, that is his natural sister, 
sustained great dolour and great wrongs, as well 
bodily as in our lands and goods, his grace having 



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370 LETTERS OF ROYAL AND 

no good eyes thereto ; howbeit reason required more 
consideration in that behalf. Where your said 
writing contained oar procuration in favour of the 
earl of Angus, we marvel greatly thereof, consi* 
dering, since his offences made to us, he nought ap- 
plied him to make us good case to continue good 
princess to him, which had been his high honour 
and special duty ; having remembrance of the great 
honour we did unto him, the which for your under- 
standing is after specified. 

In the first, we, for the tender love (and) welfere 
of him and his house, moved of good mind, humaned 
us (were so humane as) to solemnise matrimony with 
him ; trusting that he of his nobility should not 
have forgot that we for him was exiled from the go- 
vernment of this realm, the most part of our goods 
perforce withholden, our houses and possessions 
always restrained from our use, and we desolate of 
remedy ; we nought regarding these inconveniences, 
but always giving our most special attendance to 
procure and labour the said earl's weal and surety, 
first in this realm and theuafter in that our dearest 
brother's realm of England. Thereafter, when it 
pleased the king's highness to send cause convoy us 
in right honourable manner, to our said dearest 
brother's great expences, again into this realm, 
within short space thenafter the said earl behaved 
him right uncourteously unto us, and also suf- 
fered his friends in like manner, and continually, 
since the said time he and they has done persevere 
to our displeasure ; and in special these three years 



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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES. S7I 

bypast, not having no consideration of our person, 
honour, nor weal, but always putting all in jeopardy, 
which was over piteous, and great marvel to report ; 
and, after, would not suffer our own daughter to re- 
main with us for our comfort, who would not have 
been diseased she being with us. 

My good and right trusty friend, master Magnus, 
we doubt not but your reason will make you advise 
sadly hereupon, which aforesaid is of debt (and) asks 
no favours nor good mind ; yet not the less we, 
moved of piety, and having considerations of the 
time present, not only for the weal of the earl of 
Angus, but first for the merit of God, and 
to make openly known that we bear no rancour to 
the said earl, we have always, to this hour, absented 
our evil report of him or his friends in secret and 
plain audience, as God knows. And in like manner 
we have superseded executorials and sharp process 
which we have on him, to be produced both in spi- 
ritual and temporal law. As we have not procured 
nor pursued none of bis heritage, goods, nor no 
manner appurtenances* that pertained to him or his 
friends. And for us, we will omit all ire towards 
the said earl and bis friends, and in so far as we 
may, not displeasing our dearest son and keeping 
our due part to this realm, we shall will no hurt to 
the said earl nor his f|;iends, praying God to send 
them grace to make the king our dearest son be so 
satisfied of them, that they may recover his favour, 
*■ Prehencets in the orig^al. 



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372 LETTERS, ETC. 

and live under him as his subjects, and as their 
foreelders (forefathers) has done in time past. 

Item, we have written divers times to the 
king*s highness our dearest brother, and has re- 
ceived no manner response thereof ; which letters we 
believe was for the entertaining of tender love be- 
twixt our dearest son and him, both their realms, 
and other good affairs to have followed ; the which, 
for less expedition of response, is now set apart, and 
our labour ceased. And if we had the king's grace 
our dearest brother accepting and authorising our 
good mind, we would have beeu very glad to have 
disposed us as we have oft before in times bypast, to 
have procured it that might have been to his plea- 
sure, honour, and weal of his realm. 

We thank you heartily of your remembrance at 
this time ; you shall find us do for you if you chaise 
us in any thing we may tending to your weal, pray- 
ing God have you in his keeping. 

At Edinburgh, this 26th day of November. 
Your friend, 

Margaret R. 

To our right trusty and well-beloved Master 
Magnus, dean of East Riding, &c. 

END OF VOL. I. 



LONDON 
OXOftOE BASCLAT, CASTLE BTSEET, LEIGESTEB SQUAKE. 



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